Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Jules Verne was born in Nantes, France in 1828. His father was a lawyer who expected his son to also become a lawyer, but despite earning his law degree Verne ultimately refused to take over his father’s practice in favor of pursuing his literary career. He worked as a stockbroker to support himself and his family, writing in the mornings before work. Jules Verne also took advantage of many opportunities to travel, providing a great deal of inspiration for his books. Verne authored more than sixty books but is most famous for Around the World in 80 Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and The Mysterious Island. Along with H.G. Wells, he is often known as “The Father of Science Fiction”. His works are the second most translated in the world. Jules Verne died from complications of diabetes in 1905.
A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864)
A German scientist and explorer is convinced lava tubes connect the land’s surface to another world at Earth’s center and sets out to prove his theory with his nephew and an Icelandic guide.
Questions for A Journey to the Center of the Earth
What are some of the major events and crises in the novel?
This novel was written in 1864. How does the knowledge of that time affect the premise and setting of the novel? What discoveries about the geological nature of the Earth have been made since that would change the believability of the story?
What types of items do the explorers take with them for their journey? What would you take in addition to these items? Is there anything you would have access to in modern times (157 years later) that would have made the adventure easier?
In what ways does Hans contribute to the adventure?
What would your reaction be to being asked to make a dangerous trip miles into the Earth’s core?
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