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TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (Annotated) [Kindle Edition]

Jules Verne
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This unique version also includes the following bonus annotations:

- Biography of the author
- Historical context of the book
- Literary critique

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1869. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax. The original edition had no illustrations; the first illustrated edition was published by Hetzel with illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville and Édouard Riou.

As the story begins in 1866, a mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition in New York City to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, who happens to be in New York at the time and is a recognized expert in his field, is issued a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, and he accepts. Canadian master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil are also brought on board.


The expedition sets sail from Brooklyn aboard a naval ship called the Abraham Lincoln, which travels down around the tip of South America and into the Pacific Ocean. After much fruitless searching, the monster is found, and the ship charges into battle. During the fight, the ship's steering is damaged, and the three protagonists are thrown overboard. They find themselves stranded on the "hide" of the creature, only to discover to their surprise that it is a large metal construct. They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo (a name meaning "no one" in Latin).

The rest of the story follows the adventures of the protagonists aboard the submarine, the Nautilus, which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free of any land-based government. (As further discussed below, the story was written decades before submarines of such size and utility became a reality.) Captain Nemo's motivation is implied to be both a scientific thirst for knowledge and a desire for revenge on (and self-imposed exile from) civilization. Captain Nemo explains that the submarine is electrically powered, and equipped to carry out cutting-edge marine biology research; he also tells his new passengers that while he appreciates having an expert such as Aronnax with whom to converse, they can never leave because he is afraid they will betray his existence to the world. Aronnax is enthralled by the undersea vistas he is seeing, but Land constantly plots to escape.

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Product Description

Review

We are all, in one way or another, the children of Jules Verne (Ray Bradbury)

About the Author

Jules Gabriel Verne was born on February 8, 1828 in Nantes, France. As a child, he would watch the many ships on the Loire River, sparking his imagination. He was so fascinated with the idea of having an adventure that he stowed away on a ship bound for the West Indies, but his father was waiting for him at the next port and promptly returned him home. He later went to Paris to study law and began writing the text for operettas and other theater work. When his father discovered he was writing instead of studying law, he pulled his financial support, so he was forced to take a job as a stockbroker. In 1857, Jules was married to Honorine de Viane Morel, a widow with two daughters. In 1861, they had their only child together, a son named Michel. By 1863, his writing was beginning to sell and become profitable, prompting him to write at least two books per year. By 1874, Verne was rich and famous, and purchased a ship to sail around Europe. Shot in the leg by his own mentally ill nephew in 1886, he developed a life-long limp, then became an elected official in 1888. Verne passed away on March 24, 1905, at the age of 77, in Amiens, France, from diabetes.

Product details


More About the Author

Jules Verne was born in Nantes in 1828, the eldest of five children
of a prosperous family claiming French, Breton, and Scottish
ancestry. His early years were happy apart from an unfulfilled
passion for his cousin Caroline. Literature always attracted him
and while taking a law degree in Paris he wrote a number of plays.
His first book, about a journey to Scotland, was not published
during his lifetime. However, in 1862, Five Weeks in a Balloon was
accepted by the publisher Hetzel, becoming an immediate success.
It was followed by Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Twenty
Thousand Leagues under the Seas, Around the World in Eighty Days,
and sixty other novels, covering the whole world (and below
and beyond). Verne himself travelled over three continents, before
suddenly selling his yacht in 1886. Eight of the books appeared after
his death in 1905--although they were in fact written partly by his
son, Michel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ REVIEW FOR ***CORRECT TRANSLATION*** 27 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
There are three significant translations of this book, and amazon's lacklustre book-sorting system creates nothing but chaos when searching for the correct format / translation of this book. I'm here to help!

note: (find the version you are looking for with the ISBN numbers I've provided at the bottom of this review, you can just copy and paste them into the amazon search field and hit GO).

Here are excerpts from the three most common translations:

Paragraph one, translated by Mercier Lewis -
THE YEAR 1866 WAS signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to mention rumors which agitated the maritime population, and excited the public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.

Paragraph one, translated by Walter James Miller and Frederick Paul Walter (1996) -
THE YEAR 1866 was marked by a bizarre development, an unexplained and downright inexplicable phenomenon that surely no one has forgotten. Without getting into those rumors that upset civilians in the seaports and deranged the public mind even far inland, it must be said that professional seamen were especially alarmed. Traders, shipowners, captains of vessels, skippers, and master mariners from Europe and America, naval officers from every country, and at their heels the various national governments on these two continents, were all extremely disturbed by the business.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verne the way he was meant to be read! 10 May 2007
Format:Hardcover
When I was a child I loved reading the stories of Julio Verne. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days were my favorites. This new translation based on the original French texts is amazing, it moves quickly and I discovered things that I had never read in other English versions. You get more of Verne's politics here than in earlier translations including such memeorable phrases as: "The world needs no new continents, it needs new people."

The characters are well developed and you can indentify with all of them and how they view their effective captivity aboard the Nautilus. Captain Nemo is a wonderful character and Verne gives the reader just enough information about him to keep you enthralled but not enough to remove the mystery. The intro relates that Nemo was supposed to be a Polish aristocrat, getting back at the world for the the atrocities the Russians had commited against his family. But when Hetzel his publisher balked at the idea because of the new Franco Russian alliance Verne decided to remove any trace of nationality.

What else can be said? The English is not archaic!! This restored and annotated version, is a VAST improvement over previous English editions. The translation is very well done, and the annotations explain what has been changed and what previous translations accomplished. The wealth of background information also makes this one of the best English translations of this adventure I have ever read.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars too many fish 27 Aug. 2003
Format:Paperback
Science fiction in most cases has a naturally short shelf life, as science advances and leaves the ideas contained in such books behind, often looking ridiculous and quaint. Therefore credit is due to Jules Verne for his major achievement in creating a timeless tale that still delights, years after submarines have become fairly commonplace, thousands upon thousands of people scuba dive as an every day sport and those that don't have the opportunity to witness the wonders of the deep thanks to the submersibles that take TV cameras down for countless exploration documentaries.
The authors excellent prose reads poetically and easily even after translation from it's original language, the translation in this issue is brilliantly done, and the fact that the original story was serialised means that uniform length chapters - each describing its own adventure - make for a pleasantly easy going read.
However, this is also the downfall of the book and the reason for only awarding it four stars. The chapter formula is repeated again and again and again, each one being slowed down by scientific lists of the species of life (fish, molluscs, seaweed) both in laymans terms and scientifically categrosied that appear too frequently throughout the novel. Whilst Vernes obvious enthusiasm for nature and science carry the reader along for the first half of the book, the repetitiveness of these lists not only began to bore me in the second half but added unnecessary weight to a book that I was ready to finish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing stuff 17 Mar. 2010
Format:Paperback
Being new to the writings of Jules Verne, I had no idea what to expect, other than a fantasy story. Though I was greatly surprised. Set in the late 19th century, the story unfolds embracing the central characters both in relation to the time period and technological advances, as well as a heap of informative factual information. I couldn't put it down!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Read the book at school and just read it again 60 years after; saw the same 'pictures' !
Published 5 days ago by Peter Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classics at a Great Price
Can't wait to read another amazing classic.
Published 2 months ago by susan cartin
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
An endless classic, arrived early, no complaints at all
Published 2 months ago by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for my son. He loves it. Thanks ...
Bought for my son. He loves it. Thanks.
Published 3 months ago by Alberta
4.0 out of 5 stars 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Very enjoyable.Well written and presented.The only downside being the amount of detail given when describing the under water flora and fauna etc. Read more
Published 4 months ago by K BRIERLEY
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
as described
Published 4 months ago by LRH
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its covers
The translation is as promised: the best out there! The images contained in the book are the original ones. For an Excelsion edition I would of expected hard covers though. Read more
Published 5 months ago by godofbugs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thanks!
Published 5 months ago by Claudia
5.0 out of 5 stars It has pages of beautiful line drawings in it and it was so much ...
This book was absolutely gorgeous - the pictures don't do it justice. It has pages of beautiful line drawings in it and it was so much lovelier than I expected. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Eli-jay
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be read by all.
Wonderful book - Jules Verne is truly a master of the literary arts. Book was shipped extremely fast and came to me in pristine condition.
Published 6 months ago by Joe
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