Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
This first English edition of Jules Verne’s Travel Scholarships constitutes an important milestone both in Verne studies and in Wesleyan University Press’s “Early Classics of Science Fiction” book series. It is the last Verne novel for which there has existed no English translation; Anglophone aficionados of Verne will finally to be able to read this long-neglected work. ...
Who among us has read Travel Scholarships, one of the last novels by Jules Verne to be published in his lifetime and the last to be translated into English? Among French readers, and even among experts who study Verne, there are very few who could answer that question affirmatively. ...
1. The Competition
“First place, ex aequo,1 goes to Louis Clodion and Roger Hinsdale,” proclaimed the director Julian Ardagh in a resounding voice. The two laureates were welcomed by loud cheers, multiple hurrahs, and a big round of applause. ...
2. Mrs. Seymour’s Ideas
A voyage to diverse islands in the West Indies is what Mrs. Seymour’s generosity had reserved for them! Indeed, it seemed that the laureates had every reason to be pleased. ...
3. Mr. and Mrs. Patterson
If Mr. Horatio Patterson occupied the post of bookkeeper at the Antillean School, it was because he had given up his teaching career for one in administration. A Latin scholar of conviction, he regretted that in England the language of Virgil and Cicero did not have the same consideration that it enjoyed in France, ...
4. The Blue Fox Tavern
Cork was first called Coves, a name that means a marshy terrain—Corroch in Gaelic. After a modest beginning as a village, Cork became a small town and is currently the capital of Munster and the third largest city in Ireland. ...
5. A Daring Move
The plan that Harry Markel and his companions were risking to escape the police was an audacious one, if ever there was! That very night, in the middle of Cork Harbor, some miles from Queenstown, they would attempt to take over a ship, with its captain and crew already aboard. ...
6. Masters of the Ship
The coup had succeeded. This first part of the drama had been accomplished in all its horror and under conditions of extraordinary audacity. ...
7. The Three-Masted Schooner Alert
The Alert, a three-masted small schooner weighing four hundred and fifty tons, built, as has been stated, in the boatyards of Birkenhead, sheathed and pegged in copper, marked number 1 at the Bureau Veritas and sailing under the British flag, was getting ready to embark upon its third voyage. ...
8. On Board
The voyage had gotten off to a good start for Mr. Patterson and the students of the Antillean School. They were taking a strong interest in even the slightest incidents along their route. A veritable flock of birds who had broken out of their cages—birds that were completely tamed and would come back. ...
9. In Full View from Land
It was around seven o’clock when the Alert came out of Cork Harbor, leaving at its portside the promontory of Roche’s Point. The coast of County Cork was still a few miles to the west. ...
10. A Breeze from the Northeast
Leaning over the ship’s rail, the young passengers observed attentively as far as their eyes would take them. How impatiently they were longing to leave the anchorage and not to see land any longer!1 ...
11. At Sea
The next day, the sun, this punctual factotum of the universe, as Charles Dickens said,1 rose above a horizon purged by a nice breeze. There was no longer any land in view from the Alert. ...
12. Crossing the Atlantic
Navigation proceeded under conditions that were favorable enough, and it must be noted that Mr. Horatio Patterson’s state had not become worse—on the contrary. Needless to say, he had given up holding a lemon between his fingers. Most certainly, the collodion rubs of Wagah had not failed to have a certain effect. ...
13. The Aviso Essex
A steamer was coming from the opposite direction, and it was certain that it was moving at high speed. Half an hour later, its hull was visible, and half an hour after that, it was only a quarter-mile off the beam of the Alert. ...
14. Saint Thomas and Saint Croix
It was explained earlier that the West Indies contain no less than three hundred islands and islets. Actually, the designation of “island” is only given to forty-two, either for their dimensions or their geographical importance. Of these forty-two islands, only nine would receive visits from the laureates of the Antillean School. ...
15. Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy
By setting a course to the east, the Alert was now sailing toward the high seas. Indeed, Saint Martin and the Sombrero islands, Anguilla, Barbuda, and Antigua are the most extreme points of the Antillean chain in the northeast of the Windward Islands. ...
The acquisition by France of Saint Barthélemy, Sweden’s one and only Antillean colony, should not concern the United Kingdom regarding its own island of Antigua.1 And if Magnus Anders had not been able to set foot on his native land while the Scandinavian flag still waved over it, ...
The distance that separates Antigua from Guadeloupe, or rather from the group of islands under that name, is only between a hundred and a hundred and twenty miles. ...
Once the three-masted schooner had left Point-à- Pitre’s harbor, it encountered a light breeze from the east, favorable to its course to Dominica, located a few hundred miles to the south. All sails unfurled, the Alert glided like a seagull on the surface of the glittering sea. ...
Harry Markel had just escaped from danger. But he would have to face additional perils in Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Barbados. Would he be able to survive them all? During the first half of his life as a pirate, an extraordinary luck had accompanied him until that day when he and his companions were arrested on board the Halifax. ...
5. Saint Lucia
The voyage from Martinique to Saint Lucia was made with as much regularity as speed. The wind was blowing a fresh breeze from the northeast and the Alert, close-hauled, covered in just one day the eighty miles that separated Saint-Pierre from Castries, the main port of the English island, without having to change its tack. ...
Though the exact date of the discovery of Barbados by the Portuguese is difficult to pinpoint, it is certain that a ship sailing under British colors stopped there as early as 1605. Possession was taken in the name of King James I of England. ...
7. Starting the Crossing
By ten o’clock in the morning, the contours of Barbados, this most eastern island of the Lesser Antilles, had already slipped below the horizon as the Alert had left it far behind. ...
8. Night Comes
Thus passed the first morning of their return voyage home. Life on board would soon return to its habitual regularity, the monotony of which would be broken only by incidents at sea that would be very rare so long as the weather continued to be fine and the wind favorable. ...
9. Will Mitz
A little after 11 o’clock during this night of September 22–23, a boat quietly moved through the mist on the ocean’s surface. It barely rocked on the gentle swell that no wind troubled. ...
It was eleven-thirty. If the darkness had not been so complete and the fog so thick, one might have been able to see, in the distance a mile or two away, the light from the vessel that had been hoisted up to the foremast stay. ...
11. Masters on Board
Such was the turnaround due to the courage and boldness of Will Mitz. Fortune now seemed to be on the side of the honest people, and bad luck on the side of the criminals. Their final crime— getting rid of the passengers and Will Mitz on the following night— they were now powerless to commit. ...
12. Three Days
The sun, rising over a horizon that was dotted with “scruffy” clouds (to use the correct term), did not presage any significant changes to the atmospheric conditions. On the contrary, it seemed that the wind, blowing from the west, was showing a tendency to remain strong. ...
13. Into the Unknown
This time, it was not about drawing alongside another vessel at a few cables’ length or even a few miles out to sea. It was about a ship on fire that had to be abandoned. It was about a frail open boat that was going to be exposed to many perils on an empty sea, and with the uncertain hope of meeting another ship in those waters! ...
14. Journey’s End
The steamship Victoria, after leaving Dominica on its way to Liverpool, was located about three hundred fifty miles southeast of the Antilles, when the men on watch caught sight of the longboat from the Alert. ...
Jules Gabriel Verne: A Biography
Jules Gabriel Verne was born on February 8, 1828, to a middle-class family in the port city of Nantes, France. His mother, Sophie, née Allotte de la Fuÿe, was the daughter of a prominent family of ship owners, and his father, Pierre Verne, was an attorney and the son of a Provins magistrate. ...
About the Contributors
Volker Dehs is a publicist and illustrator in Göttingen, Germany. A world-class Verne scholar, he has published one of the best biographies of Verne and has co-edited several volumes of correspondence between Jules and Michel Verne with their publisher Hetzel père et fils (Slatkine, 1999–2006). ...