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For Educators



The Mysterious Island
Jules Verne



Early Classics of Science Fiction

Wesleyan University Press
2002 • 728 pp. 44 illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Science Fiction / Fiction Classics / Literary Criticism - French

$27.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6559-4
$21.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7456-5

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.


Trans. from the 1874 French ed.

“. . .The many good things contained in this book begin and rely on translator Sydney Kravitz's wonderful rendering of Verne's original words. There is nothing fusty or dull about this tale, as filtered through Kravitz's talents. The dialogue sounds like actual people might speak it, and hardly any archaic constructions obtrude. Reading this prose is pure pleasure; it allows the story itself to leap free.”—SciFi.com

First new unabridged translation since 1876 of one of Verne's best-known novels.

At a time when Verne is making a comeback in the US as a mainstream literary figure, Wesleyan is pleased to publish a new translation of one of his best-known novels, The Mysterious Island. Although several editions under the same title are in print, most reproduce a bowdlerized nineteenth-century translation which changes the names of the characters, omits several important scenes, and ideologically censors Verne's original text.

The Mysterious Island was published in 1874, and it is one of Verne's longest novels. The plot depicts a group of men who have become castaways stranded on an island in the Pacific during the American Civil War. The novel describes their attempts not only to survive but also, with the aid of the scientific and technological know-how, to rebuild their world from the meager resources of the island. At the end, however, it is realized that Captain Nemo, from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, has secretly been helping the settlers. A marvelous adventure story, The Mysterious Island is also notable for its modern retelling of the utopian deserted-island myth, with repeated echoes of Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson. This Wesleyan edition features notes, appendices and an introduction by Verne scholar William Butcher, as well as reproductions of the illustrations from the original French edition.

Reviews:

"With the publication of The Kip Brothers and The Mysterious Island, it is no longer possible to dismiss Verne as a 'children’s author'…. Revealing the sociological, scientific, historical, and geographic breadth of his vision, these titles provide room for critical speculation for years to come."
—Janice M. Bogstad, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts



Jules Verne (1828 - 1905) was the first author to popularize the literary genre of science fiction. Laying a careful scientific foundation for his fantastic adventure stories, he forecast with remarkable accuracy many scientific achievements of the 20th century. He anticipated flights into outer space, submarines, helicopters, air conditioning, guided missiles, and motion pictures long before they were developed.

Sidney Kravitz is a retired scientist and engineer who has published many articles in mathematics and engineering magazines throughout the world. He spent fourteen years translating The Mysterious Island. William Butcher is Senior Lecturer in English at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, author of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Self: Space and Time in the "Voyages Extraordinaires" (1990), and translator of Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (translation, introduction and critical edition, 1992), Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (1995), and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1998).






Wed, 5 Nov 2014 15:21:06 -0500