A Journey to the Interior of the Earth
A historical manuscript penned by a medieval Norse poet. A mysterious code. Three intrepid explorers. A subterranean world filled with prehistoric creatures and proto-humans. These are some of the brilliant ideas that are superbly blended in A Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne.
Jules Verne, the French writer who created several works of science fiction, adventure stories and very popular novels, wrote A Journey to the Interior of the Earth in 1864. Some of his other books explore different aspects of geography, space and time travel. Known as the “Father of Science Fiction” Verne's books have retained their freshness and appeal though many of the ideas propounded in them have been proved erroneous as a result of modern discoveries and explorations.
Though Verne wrote popular fiction, few readers would know that he based his writing on solid research and scientific principles. A Journey to the Interior of the Earth drew inspiration from the works of a Victorian geologist, Sir Charles Lyell, who wrote extensively on the origins of the human race from a geological perspective. The book was originally translated into English by Rev. F A Malleson in 1877. Since then several English translations have been made, with the title being sometimes changed to A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Other publishers have had the book completely rewritten, with additions, omissions and changes of name.
In this original version of the novel, Professor Otto Lidenbrock is a German mineralogist who lives in Hamburg. He rushes home one afternoon, elated by his purchase of an ancient manuscript from an antique shop. His nephew, Axel who lives with him is less than enthusiastic when he hears that the book is written in Runic script and is an Icelandic saga concerning the old Norse kings. A dirty piece of parchment falls out of the bundle of pages and it appears to be written in code. This grabs Axel's interest and the two spend days trying to crack the cipher. When they finally do, they discover that it has been written by an alchemist who claims that he has traveled to the interiors of the earth via a volcanic tube. Excited beyond measure, the professor drags his reluctant nephew to Iceland, where a local hunter joins them in a truly fantastic voyage.
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