About this Recording
NA203312 - VERNE, J.: Around the World in Eighty Days (Abridged)

Jules Verne

Jules Verne

Around The World In Eighty Days


Jules Verne was born in the French seaport of Nantes in 1828. In 1839,

he stowed away on the Coralie, a ship bound for the West Indies, but was retrieved by his father. His father wanted Jules to become a lawyer – as

he himself was – and sent his son to Paris in 1848 to train.


In Paris, Verne became part of the literary circle of Alexandre Dumas.

In 1852, he passed his law exams and became Secretary to the Théâtre Lyrique, writing several unsuccessful plays.


In 1856, Verne married a young widow from Amiens, Honorine Morel, who had two children, and they had one son of their own, Michel. In order to support his family, he became a stockbroker on the Paris Bourse.


As well as plays, Verne wrote many poems and stories for magazines

and in 1854 he published a fantasy novella, Master Zacharius. But his first real success came in 1863, with the publication of Five Weeks in a Balloon,

followed in 1864 by Journey to the Centre of the Earth and, in 1865, From the Earth to the Moon. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was

published in two parts, in 1869 and 1870. Like many of Verne's books,

it shows his love of exploration and scientific discovery.


Verne was left crippled in 1886 after being shot by his nephew, Gaston, when he refused him money. But he continued to work, and wrote a total of 67 titles. He died in 1905.


Around the World in Eighty Days was Verne's tenth novel. It was published in 1873, at the height of his powers, and it established his popularity in Britain - and in America, where it was the best seller of the year, with sales topping a million. It achieved its greatest popularity in the 20th century through Michael Todd's film with David Niven in the title role.


Around the World in Eight Days chronicles the dramatic dash from continent to continent to win a wager by the eccentric Englishman, Phileas Fogg. Fogg is very much a Frenchman's idea of the English gentleman, a figure of extreme punctiliousness who is quite content to 'let his servant do his sightseeing for him.' He is balanced by the excitable and warm-hearted Passepartout -

perhaps a Frenchman's idea of the true Frenchman.


The book was written as a serial and ran in the Paris newspaper, Le Temps, in real time, the story and the journey ending on the same day at the end of December 1872. Fogg's journey was followed keenly by readers, and episodes were telegraphed across the Atlantic. It was a time when international tourist travel was becoming increasingly available to a wider section of people, and the details of visas, traveling methods and differing cultural traits was fascinating to the general reader. The story falls easily into episodes, and the immediacy of the writing, mirroring the fast moving pace of the action, makes it as gripping today as when it was first written.


Notes by Lesley Young


Harry Burton


Harry Burton is a highly versatile actor. A familiar figure in British theatre, in London's West End and the Fringe, he has become equally known for taking leading operatic roles including Mozart (Figaro and Leporello) and Rossini (Dandini) at the South Bank, the Vienna Festival and on TV. He is also regularly seen on TV in programs as varied as Soldier, Soldier and Pinter's Party Time.



The Music


The music on this cassette is taken from the NAXOS and MARCO POLO catalogs



    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Jerzy Maksymiuk



    Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Stephen Gunzenhauser



    Württemberg Philharmonic/Gilles Nopre



    BRT Philharmonic, Brussels/Rahbari

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