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Explore the Collection: All Books | All Images

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries are fortunate to have a few early editions of Verne's works with the original engraved illustrations which made his works so popular. Verne and his publisher Julius Hetzel paid acute attention to the details of these illustrations, so that they are almost an integral part of the story. Later reprints usually omitted these engravings, and since the original woodcuts and early printing plates are long gone, all that remains are these images from the early books.

The following selection will give an idea of what was available one hundred years ago - illustrations which introduce the characters, provide panoramas which describe the locale of the adventure and the flora and fauna encountered, give maps where the reader may follow the heroes' adventures, or illustrate a particularly exciting or scientific moment. They are truly Voyages Extraordinaire.


Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
Title page of an early French edition of "Five Weeks in a Balloon". (Title Page)
 


Cinq Semaines en Ballon
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
Illustration from the first page of "Five Weeks in a Balloon", showing the reader may expect volcanoes, lightning, and an exciting trip. (p. 1)
 


Frontispiece
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
The balloon Victoria is snagged by an elephant. (p. 98)
 


Le Victoria remorqué un elephant.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
The shot of Doctor Ferguson. Animals are expendable artifacts in Verne's novels. (p. 101)
 


Le croquis du docteur Ferguson
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
The lost balloon. Here Verne uses the possibility of a temperature inversion to create the mirage of a second balloon. (p. 151)
 


Le ballon inattendu
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
Large scale maps figure prominently in Verne's adventures. (p. 180)
 


L'Afrique Centrale, left half.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
Verne sets at least four of his novels in Central Africa, and drew many of the maps himself. (p. 181)
 


L'Afrique Centrale, right half.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
Joe heaving overboard the tent of the gondola. Everything must go overboard when the gondola nears the ground. (p. 238)
 


Joe détachant la tente de la nacelle.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais (Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen)
J. Hetzel: Paris , 1867
  About this image:
The cataracts of Guinea. Verne intermingles the fanciful with reality — the travellers end their trip at a well known location. (p. 253)
 


Le cataractes de Gouina
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
Title page of the first American "pirate" translation of "Five Weeks in a Balloon". Published by Appleton & Co., New York. Most translations were anonymous, as here by "William Lackland". (Title Page)
 


Title Page
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
With no international copyright laws, publishers were free to reprint and translate foreign books with impunity. (Copyright page)
 


Entered according to act of Congress
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
Verne has created such a realistic novel that the publisher feels it necessary, through this "Publisher's Note", to inform the reader that it is an imaginary journey. In fact, some reviewers criticized Verne for omitting some references to published work in his book, unaware that it was a novel. (Publisher's Note)
 


Publisher's Note
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
A resident being carried away by the balloon. (Frontispiece)
 


The astonishment of the people was great on seeing one of their number carried away.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
Pirate publishers in the U.S. had to create their own illustrations. The engraver's art was highly developed, and the French engravings were quickly copied. Note the absence of the engraver's name, Riou, on this illustration compared with the French edition. The French editions used plates made from woodcuts, this illustration may actually be be a steel engraving. (p. 134 Facing)
 


The animal attempts in vain to cut himself loose.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
Again in this "mirage " illustration, the engraver's name, "Riou" is missing. (p. 204 Facing)
 


It is only the effect of a mirage, says the Doctor, that and nothing else.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
Another exciting episode. (p. 288 Facing)
 


Joe caught hold of the ladder.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
The balloon is falling apart! (p. 323 Facing)
 


The courageous Joe sustains himself by his hands on the edge of the basket.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Five weeks in a balloon; or, Journeys and discoveries in Africa, by three Englishmen (Cinq semaines en ballon; voyage de découvertes en Afrique, par trois anglais)
D. Appleton & Co.: New York , 1869
  About this image:
A change in temperature allows the balloon to take off. Again Verne uses the laws of physics to provide for his heroes' salvation. (p. 340 Facing)
 


The balloon, entirely inflated by the rarefaction of the temperature, takes flight, touching the branches as it passes.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
The front cover of the book carries an embossed illustration of the frontispiece. Note the "First", "Second", and "Third" class carriages. (Front Cover)
 


Front Cover
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Rev. Lewis Mercier here alters the spelling of his name so as not to appear to profit from his clerical position. (Title Page)
 


Title Page
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
The frontispiece of the book showing "Projectile Trains for the Moon" immediately attracts the reader's attention. Paradoxically, the text which refers to this illustration was deleted from the English and American editions. Note the smoke coming from the steam engine pulling the train. Space travel for the masses may become a reality as Richard Branson is now proposing civilian space flights for paying passengers. (Frontispiece)
 


PROJECTILE TRAINS FOR THE MOON
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
An elaborate drawing usually accompanies the introduction of a principal character. Here President Barbicane is shown with the accoutrements of war forming the furniture of the "Gun Club" in the background. (p. 10 Facing)
 


PRESIDENT BARBICANE
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Admirals Rodman and Dahlgren were two American inventors who perfected heavy cannon design. The tapered barrel reduced the amount of iron required for the same range. (p. 34 Facing)
 


THE RODMAN COLUMBIAD
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Tampa is only about 130 miles from Cape Canaveral, site of the first moon launch. Verne correctly identified the range of latitudes and time of year for a moon launch. (p. 66 Facing)
 


TAMPA TOWN PREVIOUS TO THE UNDERTAKING
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Tampa Town becomes a mini city, foretelling the industrial development around Cape Canaveral a century later. (p. 82 Facing)
 


TAMPA TOWN AFTER THE UNDERTAKING
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Michel Ardan, a french bon vivant and boulevardier, is introduced here wearing his jaunty clothes as he arrives on board the Atlanta. (p. 88 Facing)
 


MICHEL ARDAN
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
The capsule is unloaded at Stone's Hill near Tampa, now part of residential subdivision. Verne correctly predicts the use of the newly discovered light weight metal aluminium for the capsule. National pride also plays a part, indicated by the numerous flags. (p. 122 Facing)
 


THE ARRIVAL OF THE PROJECTILE AT STONE'S HILL
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Here we see the interior of the projectile fitted out with equipment for the journey — a collapsing telescope, pickaxes, guns, trees to plant, the oxygen apparatus. Below are the baffles for reducing the shock of launch. The guns were used as retro-rockets to reduce the speed of the projectile as it approached the earth. (p. 130 Facing)
 


THE INTERIOR OF THE PROJECTILE
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Verne's travellers always preserve their creature comforts: light, heat, food, and drink. (p. 152 Facing)
 


THE GAS CAUGHT FIRE
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
The two dogs, Diana and Satellite, figure prominently in the first part of the story; they are forgotten when the capsule returns to earth. Verne may have composed the ending much later than the rest of the book. (p. 154 Facing)
 


DIANA AND SATELLITE
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Verne correctly notes the visibility of the sun as the projectile emerges from the earth's shadow. (p.172 Facing)
 


THE SUN CHOSE TO BE OF THE PARTY
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
The travellers develop oxygen narcosis when their oxygen generator temporarily malfunctions. (p. 205 Facing)
 


I COULD HAVE VENTURED OUT ON THE TOP OF THE PROJECTILE
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
As the voyagers move into the moon's shadow, the projectile encounters the "absolute cold of space" causing their breath to condense as snow. (p. 258 Facing)
 


THE VAPOR OF OUR BREATH WILL FALL IN SNOW AROUND US
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Light and heat are enjoyed when the sun reappears. The travellers philosophise about the importance of sunlight. (p. 273 Facing)
 


LIGHT AND HEAT, ALL LIFE IS CONTAINED IN THEM
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
Verne appreciates that objects thrown out of the capsule will travel immutably in the same orbit and with the same speed as the projectile and thus remain near. (p. 291 Facing)
 


AROUND THEM WERE OBJECTS WHICH HAD BEEN THROWN OUT
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
From the Earth to the Moon Direct in Ninety-seven Hours and Twenty Minutes, and a Trip around it. Trans. by Louis Mercier and Eleanor King (De la terre à la lune)
Scribner, Armstrong: New York , 1874
  About this image:
The splashdown is in the Pacific Ocean, not far from the point where the Apollo travellers landed. (p. 319 Facing)
 


WHITE ALL, BARBICANE
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
Cover of the 1st French illustrated edition. (Front Cover)
 


Jules Verne, Robur Le Conquerant Illustré
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
Frontispiece Showing Robur in his Flying Machine. (Frontispiece)
 


Collection Hetzel
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
Title Page of 1st 1886 Edition. Hetzel wanted his books to include "Education" as well as "Recreation". (Title Page)
 


Les Voyages Extraordinaires
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
The question of balloons. Verne was fascinated by balloon travel, and used it as a device in many of his novels. (p. 3)
 


La question des ballons.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
The third ascent was terminated by a grand fall. Here the picture illustrates an exciting moment in the story. (p. 16)
 


La troisieme ascension termineé par une chute effroyable.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
My name is Robur. Typical illustration of Verne introducing a principal character. (p. 24)
 


"Je me nomme Robur."
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
The Albatross rejoins the Go Ahead. Verne uses balloons to resupply the Albatross, his flying machine. (p. 27)
 


L'Albatrosse rejoignit le Go Ahead
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
Verne's flying machine, the Albatross, uses 37 helicopter-like propellers for lift. Verne apparently was not familiar with the new study of aerodynamics, and may have died witihout knowing of the Wright brothers' flight in 1903. (p. 56)
 


L'Albatross.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
One speaks sof a vessel with 37 propellers. From the deck of the Albatross travellers study the 37 propellors. (p. 57)
 


On dirait au navire à trente-sept mâts.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
An unsurpassable repast. Verne anticipates the sumptuous accomodation provided for early aerial passengers. His heroes always manage to eat well on their travels. (p. 64)
 


Un repas n'engage à rien.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
Tom Turner is introduced. Another example of a major character being depicted before his introduction in the text, in this case not until Chapter VII of the book. (p. 65)
 


Tom Turner.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
The two colleagues were able to see an immense city. (from the deck of the Albatross). (p. 96)
 


Les deux collègues purent voir cette cité immense.
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Image from:
Author:
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Title/Imprint:
Robur-le-conquérant (Robert, the Conqueror)
J. Hetzel et Cie.: Paris , 1886
  About this image:
One saw a shipwreck come in view. (p. 157)
 


On vit un des naufragés se relever….
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Image from:
Author:
Title/Imprint:
Science and Invention, Vol. VIII, No. 4, Aug. 1920
Experimenter Publishing Co., Inc.: New York , 1920
  About this image:
Jules Verne illustration, surrounded by his inventions.
 


Jules Verne, the World's Greatest Prophet
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