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Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Self:

Space and Time in the "Voyages extraordinaires"

William Butcher

with a Foreword by Ray Bradbury

Macmillan and St Martin’s Press, 1990


The works of Jules Verne have undergone a major re-evaluation in France in recent years, based on a recognition of their sustained literary value and their unique influence on subsequent creative writers. In Britain, however, no full-length scholarly study of Verne had appeared before 1990.

It is this remarkable gap, where the bestselling writer of all time—and the only Frenchman to have achieved truly universal renown—is either unknown or travestied, that Dr Butcher brilliantly fills here. His detailed study of the themes and structures shows that they all lead ineluctably back to the author: that the self is at the centre of even the apparently most impersonal works.


 ‘skilful . . . illuminatingly analytical . . . stimulating’ Professor David Baguley, Nineteenth Century French Studies

 ‘comprehensive . . . incisive’ Professor A Evans Science-Fiction Studies

‘remarkable . . . very rich . . . required reading’ Professor Robert Pourvoyeur, BSJV

'a sophisticated structuralist study of “dimensionality” in Verne's works', Encyclopædia Britannica

‘engagingly systematic and imaginative . . . beautifully apt’ Professor Gavin Bryars