The Mysterious Island. Sidney Kravitz, translator; edited by Arthur B. Evans. Introduction and notes by William Butcher. Wesleyan. ISBN 0819565598. $17.95.

 

Reviewed by Rick Walter, Extraordinary Voyages, March 2003, Vol. 9, no. 3, p. 7

 

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The [volume] features a huge scholarly apparatus: William Butcher supplies extensive annotations, analyses of the pertinent manuscripts, comprehensive bibliographies on the author and on this novel in particular, and coverage of Verneís other desert-island efforts including his false start for this novel, Uncle Robinson. As for Butcherís introduction, itís endlessly stimulating, relating the novelís tortuous evolution, detailing the struggles between the author and his micromanaging editor P.-J. Hetzel, and raising major questions for future researchersófor instance, I was startled to learn that Verne had originally planned a god-out-of-the-machine different from the one in the text we know. Fascinating stuff!

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