Friday, January 28, 2022

Fiction Friday: Around the World in Eighty Days

Fiction Friday: Around the World in Eighty Days

Photo: WikiImages

PBS has been showing an eight-part “adaptation” of Jules Verne’s acclaimed novel Around the World in Eighty Days. I put the word adaptation in quotations because two significant changes were made to the original. The characters of Fix and Passepartout are completely different and seemed to be a nod to political correctness rather than adhering to Verne’s intentions, with Fix being a female journalist and Passepartout being black. 

For those of you unfamiliar with this 1872 French novel, Phileas Fogg, a rich Englishman who lives a solitary life in London. He periodically frequents a gentleman’s club called the Reform Club where he seems to be ridiculed for his habitual modest lifestyle and fastidious manner, so fastidious he fires his valet for bringing him shaving water at a lower temperature than desired. He hires Frenchman Jean Passepartout as replacement. 

One day, Fogg and several of his friends see an article in The Daily Telegraph that states a new railroad
section has opened in India, making it now possible to travel around the world in eighty days. An argument ensues as to the veracity of the claim, and Fogg accepts a bet for 20,000 pounds that he can complete the journey. Experiences in Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, San Francisco, New York, France, Ireland, and finally Liverpool, and the intervening travel keep readers turning pages. At first, Fogg believes he has lost the wager but a series of events reveal that because he has traveled eastward, his days were shortened by four minutes for each of the 360 degrees of longitude they cross, thus they had seen eighty sunrises and sunsets to London’s seventy-nine, therefore winning the bet. Ironically, he has spent nearly 19,000 pounds of his travel money during the trip. 

Photo: WikiImages
Written during the Franco-Prussian war in which Verne was drafted, he struggled with financial difficulties and grief over the recent death of his father. Fascinated by technology, Vern was intrigued by the possibility of such speedy travel. Interestingly, the closing date of the novel, December 21, 1872, was the same date as the serial publication, leading some readers to believe the journal was actually taking place. Bets were placed, and some railroad companies campaigned for Verne to include them and the book. 

After the book’s publication as a novel, several people attempted to follow Fogg’s circumnavigation. Here are a few of them: 

  • 1889: Nellie Bly did the journey in 72 days and met Verne in Amiens at its completion; 
  • 1903: James Willis Sayre’s journey lasted 54 days 
  • 1908: Harry Bensley attempted the journey on foot, but it took so long, he had to abandon the trip in 1914 at the commencement of WWI. 
  • 1928: A Danish Boy Scout traveled by train and ship, but did not go via India, and his journey lasted 44 days. 
Since 1979, Verne is the second-most translated author, ranking between William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. Have you read this classic?


Rayne's Redemption:

Will she have to lose her identity to find true love?

Twin sisters Rayne and Jessica Dalton have been swapping places their whole lives, so when Jessica dies on the eve of heading west to become a mail-order bride, Rayne decides to fill her sister's shoes. The challenge will be faking Jessica's faith in God. Can Rayne fool her prospective groom without losing her heart...or her soul?

Flynn Ward fled England to escape his parent's attempts at marrying him off, but now that he's ready to wed, locating a woman in the Wyoming mountains is harder than finding a hackney in a rainstorm. Then the Westward Home & Hearts Agency offers him the perfect match. But when his prospective bride 
arrives, she's nothing like she seemed in her letters. Is he destined to go through life alone?

Can two desperate people overcome their differences to find common ground...and love?

Purchase Link:

No comments:

Post a Comment