Cover image for A journey to the centre of the earth
A journey to the centre of the earth
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Voyage au centre de la terre. English
Publication Information:
Mattituck, N.Y. : Amereon House, [date of publication not identified]
Physical Description:
xi, 242 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 22 cm
General Note:
Originally published 1864.
Format :


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Material Type
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FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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An adventurous geology professor mounts an expedition that descends into a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic marine life -- a living past that holds the secrets to the origins of human existence. Jules Verne's 19th-century action classic has the added appeal of a psychological quest, in which the journey is as significant as the destination.

Author Notes

Jules Verne was born on February 8, 1828 in Nantes, France. He wrote for the theater and worked briefly as a stockbroker. He is considered by many to be the father of science fiction. His most popular novels included Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days. Several of his works have been adapted into movies and TV mini-series. In 1892, he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in France. He died on March 24, 1905 at the age of 77.

(Bowker Author Biography) Jules Verne (1828-1905) is the author of numerous adventure stories grounded in popularizations of science.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-The graphic novel format has been applied to these literature classics, with a result that sacrifices much of the literary integrity of the original works, while at the same time relying heavily on descriptive text in order to move the plot forward. Each book in this series begins with an introduction to the characters, and concludes with information about the source author, notable historical events from around the time of the classic's first publication, and a bibliography of the source author's works. The story is depicted through a series of paneled illustrations with accompanying text summarizing the plot. Each spread has been given a heading that relates to the main plot point therein. The images are realistic, and focus primarily on the protagonists' faces. Opportunities to depict the lush settings, such as Paris in Hunchback, or the unknown landscapes in Journey, are given over to close-ups on the characters mentioned in the accompanying text. An uninviting use of the format with limited appeal.-Matthew C. Winner, Ducketts Lane Elementary School, Elkridge, MD (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



From Ursula Heise's Introduction to Journey to the Center of the Earth Traveling to the center of the Earth would involve a downward trip of about 4,000 miles that would cut through the Earth's crust and its mostly solid, rocky mantle into a liquid core of iron alloy, then end at a solid inner core of iron and nickel. Pressure and temperature would rise with increasing depth, and temperatures would reach about 10,300 degrees Fahrenheit at the Earth's center--hardly a climate that many geo-tourists would enjoy! Much of this knowledge about the geophysical structure of the Earth was acquired in the course of the twentieth century, long after Jules Verne published Journey to the Center of the Earth . In 1864, when the book appeared, different hypotheses about the nature of the Earth competed with each other. Even then, though, in light of any of the contemporary scientific theories, a journey to the Earth's core belonged to the realm of the fantastic. Why then did Verne, who was intensely interested in the science and technology of his day, choose this idea as the founding assumption of what was to become one of his most famous novels? And why is this journey undertaken not by a dreamer or a madman, but by a hard-core scientist, a professor of mineralogy and geology who is thoroughly familiar with the scientific debates of his time? For a reader who first encounters Journey to the Center of the Earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the enthusiasm of Professor Otto Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and even Lidenbrock's goddaughter Graüben for mineralogical specimens and geological theories may seem nothing short of eccentric. After Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift--originally proposed in the 1920s--had been generally accepted in the 1960s, geology disappeared from public awareness as a science that could bring about exciting new discoveries and theories. But in the middle of the nineteenth century, geology was a brand-new branch of knowledge rife with the opposing theories and opinions of some of the best minds of the day. Far from being an arcane branch of scientific knowledge of mostly academic interest, it touched upon the most basic questions of the origin of life and human beings and the nature of the very soil they walk upon. Not just scholars but public and religious authorities believed they had a vital stake in the outcome of geological controversies. As a scientific discipline, geology had in fact only come into being in the first half of the nineteenth century. Before that, mineralogists had been just about the only scientists to study the inanimate environment, conducting their investigation of the Earth most frequently in the context of French and German mining schools. Their study consisted of a mix of natural philosophy, theology, and the beginnings of empirical observation, without the benefit of an established academic framework. Abraham Gottlob Werner, a German professor at the Mining School of Freiberg in the late eighteenth century, combined the study of rock formations with the biblical account of Genesis. The Scottish naturalist, chemist, and geologist James Hutton opposed Werner's theories and grounded his own account of the development of the Earth on observable processes and on the principle of uniformitarianism--that is, the idea that the processes that had gone into the shaping of the Earth over immensely long periods of time had not fundamentally changed and could still account for geological development. Hutton's work was followed by that of Scottish geologist Charles Lyell, whose classic book Principles of Geology, published in 1830, laid down the foundations of a new, empirically based science of the Earth. But the Earth is so vast and all-encompassing that it often appeared complicated to infer its general operating principles from the processess observable in one particular place. Indeed, huge areas of geology--the 70 percent of the Earth's surface that is under water, as well as its interior--are simply inaccessible to direct human observation. (Lyell once joked that an amphibious observer who could inhabit both land and sea would be a more suitable geologist than a human being.) For these reasons, divergent theories about the nature of the Earth continued to rage throughout the nineteenth century. While some scholars argued that the interior of the Earth had to be mostly liquid, with the solid ground a mere thin crust not unlike ice on lake water, others replied that on mathematical grounds the Earth could not be anything but for the most part solid. The age of the Earth was similarly subject to vastly divergent estimations, and this issue became part of the violent controversy over Darwin's theory of evolution in the 1850s and 1860s. Biological evolution occurs over immense periods of time, and in general, the development of the physical structure of the Earth over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years contradicts creationist accounts of a much shorter time span for the origins of the Earth. In Verne's day, therefore, geological theories about the origin and gradual shaping of the Earth, along with biological insights into the evolution of life, were what genetic engineering and nanotechnology are for us today: innovative and exciting areas of scientific research that have a profound bearing on the way we think about our own identity and experience our everyday lives. Verne's familiarity with these debates shows up in every chapter of Journey to the Center of the Earth , which abounds in references to the leading scientific minds of his day, from naturalists and geologists such as Georges Cuvier to explorers such as Alexander von Humboldt and archaeologists such as Jacques Boucher de Perthes. Caught up in the evolving plot, a contemporary reader's attention might easily slide over such references unawares. But their presence is the equivalent of mentions of James Watson and Francis Crick, Stephen Hawking, or Bill Gates in a novel written today. Excerpted from Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

1 My Uncle Lidenbrockp. 1
2 The Stange Parchmentp. 7
3 My Uncle is Baffledp. 13
4 I Find the Keyp. 21
5 Hunger Defeats Mep. 26
6 I Argue in Vainp. 33
7 Getting Readyp. 42
8 The First Stagep. 50
9 We Reach Icelandp. 58
10 Our First Dinner in Icelandp. 66
11 Our Guide Hansp. 72
12 Slow Progressp. 79
13 Icelandic Hospitalityp. 85
14 A Final Argumentp. 92
15 The Summit of Sneffelsp. 99
16 Inside the Craterp. 106
17 Our Real Journey Beginsp. 113
18 Ten Thousand Feet Below Sea-Levelp. 119
19 Upwards Againp. 126
20 A Dead Endp. 132
21 The New Columbusp. 138
22 I Collapsep. 144
23 We Find Waterp. 148
24 Under the Seap. 154
25 A Day of Restp. 159
26 Alonep. 165
27 Lost and Panic-Strickenp. 169
28 I Hear Voicesp. 173
29 Savedp. 179
30 An Underground Seap. 184
31 The Raftp. 193
32 We Set Sailp. 199
33 A Battle of Monstersp. 207
34 The Great Geyserp. 215
35 The Stormp. 221
36 An Unpleasant Shockp. 228
37 A Human Skullp. 235
38 The Professor Gives a Lecturep. 240
39 Man Alivep. 247
40 We Meet an Obstaclep. 255
41 Down the Tunnelp. 261
42 Going Upp. 267
43 Shot Out of a Volcanop. 274
44 Back to the Surfacep. 281
45 Home Againp. 288