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Verne80Days1873FirstEdition

Front cover of the French first edition of Around the World in Eighty Days, published in January 1873.

Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is an adventure novel by the French author Jules Verne. It was first published in France in January 1873 and the first English translation appeared the same year.

The main characters in the novel are the wealthy and somewhat mysterious Englishman Phileas Fogg and his French manservant Jean Passepartout. Fogg bets twenty thousand pounds that he will be able to travel around the world and return to his starting point in exactly eighty days. The journey is initially uneventful but Fogg and Passepartout encounter and overcome several problems in India, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States and on the ocean. In India, Passepartout rescues Aouda, the widow of a raja, from being put to death as part of her late husband's funeral ceremony. Aouda then accompanies Fogg and Passepartout on the rest of their journey. Fogg is pursued from Egypt back to England by Inspector Fix, a Scotland Yard detective who wrongly believes that Fogg is a thief who robbed the Bank of England.

Plot

'Around the World in Eighty Days' by Neuville and Benett 05

Passepartout. Illustration by Alphonse de Neuville and Leon Benett from the first edition.

The novel begins on October 2, 1872. Jean Passepartout, a former Paris firefighter and stage acrobat who has traveled extensively, wishes to settle down to a quiet life and therefore is happy to take up a position at the London home of Phileas Fogg. Fogg is described as handsome, he is said to resemble Lord Byron, he is independently wealthy but nobody knows how he came by his fortune. Fogg follows the same routine every day, spending most of the day playing cards at the Reform Club, a private gentleman's club of which he is a member. Fogg also insists on precision in every aspect of his life. For example, he insists that his shaving water be exactly eighty-four degrees fahrenheit and fired his previous servant for bringing him water which was two degrees too hot.

'Around the World in Eighty Days' by Neuville and Benett 04

Phileas Fogg. Illustration by Alphonse de Neuville and Leon Benett from the first edition.

A large amount of money has been stolen from the Bank of England. The members of the Reform Club discuss the robbery and say that it will be difficult to catch the robber because the world is a very big place in which to hide. Fogg disagrees, saying that advances in transport have effectively made the world smaller. Pointing to an article in The Daily Telegraph about the completion of a railway connecting Bombay to Calcutta, he says that it has become possible to travel around the world in eighty days. When the other members of the Reform Club dismiss his claim, Fogg bets twenty thousand pounds that he can travel around the world in exactly eighty days and return to the Reform Club at precisely 8:45pm on Saturday December 21, 1872. The stamps in his passport are to serve as proof that he made the journey.

Fogg returns home and tells Passepartout to get ready to leave immediately. The two take only two shirts, three pairs of socks, one extra pair of shoes and two coats each and a large bag full of money. Their journey from London through France and Italy by train and on to Egypt by boat goes smoothly and is uneventful. On arrival in Egypt, Fogg is noticed by Inspector Fix, a detective who has been sent by Scotland Yard to search for the man who robbed the Bank of England. Fogg's appearance matches the description of the bank robber. Unable to stop Fogg in Egypt, Fix is forced to follow him to India.

In India, Fogg discovers that the story in The Daily Telegraph was incorrect, the railway from Bombay to Calcutta has not yet been completed and passengers have to find their own means to travel the fifty miles betweeen Kholby and Allahabad. Fogg buys an elephant and hires a local man to serve as a guide. Fogg, Passepartout and their guide see Aouda, the young widow of a raja, being taken unwillingly to her death on her late husband's funeral pyre. They decide to rescue her and follow the procession. Passepartout hides in the funeral pyre, rising up once the flames are lit. The attendants run away in fear, thinking that the raja has come back to life, and Passepartout carries Aouda away to safety. Aouda tells the travelers that she has relatives in Hong Kong and Fogg agrees to take her there.

In Calcutta, Fix arranges for Fogg and Passepartout to be arrested on the charge of Passepartout having entered a Hindu temple in Bombay without taking off his shoes. Passepartout and Fogg, considered responsible for his servant's conduct, both face the prospect of eight days in jail. However, Fogg pays two thousand pounds bail and he Passeprtout and Aouda promptly leave the country.

Arriving in Hong Kong, Aouda finds out that her relatives have moved to Holland. Fogg tells her that she can accompany him back to Europe. Inspector Fix approaches Passepartout and takes him to a bar. He tells the Frenchman that he is pursuing Fogg because he believes he is the man who robbed the Bank of England. Passepartout is offended by the suggestion and refuses to believe a word of it. Fix appears to apologize and goes on to get Passepartout drunk before offering him a pipe full of opium.

'Around the World in Eighty Days' by Neuville and Benett 25

Phileas Fogg and Aouda sail from Shanghai to Yokohama. Illustration by Alphonse de Neuville and Leon Benett from the first edition.

In spite of getting drunk and drugged, Passepartout is able to wake up in time the next morning to catch the steam boat to Yokohama, Japan. Fogg and Aouda, however, miss it. The owner of a small boat agrees to take them to Shanghai where they are able to catch another steam ship to Yokohama. On his own in Japan, Passepartout finds a job with a troupe of acrobats, directed by an American, who are soon to leave for the United States. On the night of his first performance in Yokohama, Passepartout sees Fogg and Aouda in the audience. he runs off the stage and rejoins them.

On board the steamship to San Francisco, Fix promises Passepartout that he will not try to hamper Fogg's journey around the world anymore. The reason for that being that he is keen for Fogg to get back to Britain quickly so that he can be arrested. Passepartout decides not to tell Fogg that Fix thinks he is a bank robber because he does not want to give Fogg something else to worry about. In San Francisco, Fogg, Passepartout, Aouda and Fix board a train for New York. After the train is attacked by Sioux warriors, they are frorced to travel across the snowy prairie by wind powered sledge. Arriving in Omaha, they are able to catch another train to New York.

Having arrived in New York too late to catch the steam ship to Liverpool, Fogg finds Andrew Speedy, the captain of a boat which is sailing to Bordeaux, France, who agrees to take the four passengers on board at a cost of two thousand dollars each. Fogg tries to persuade Speedy to take them to Liverpool. When he refuses, Fogg appears to agree to sail to Bordeaux. On board, Fogg leads the crew in a mutiny and they head in the direction of Liverpool. Having run out of fuel, Fogg buys the ship from Andrew Speedy so that he can burn everything on board that is made of wood.

'Around the World in Eighty Days' by Neuville and Benett 56

Inspector Fix arrests Phileas Fogg in Liverpool. Illustration by Alphonse de Neuville and Leon Benett from the first edition.

Fogg and his companions arrive in Ireland and are able to get a boat to Liverpool. However, on arrival in Liverpool, Fix immediately arrests Fogg for the robbery of the Bank of England. Fix releases Fogg shortly afterwards, telling him that the real bank robber was caught three days earlier. Fogg, Passepartout and Aouda travel to London by train but arrive a few minutes too late for Fogg to win his bet.

The following day, Fogg tells Aouda that having lost his bet, and his entire fortune due to the expenses of his journey, he does not have the money to help her. Nevertheless, Aouda tells Fogg that she loves him and the two agree to marry the next day. Passepartout is sent to the nearest church to arrange a wedding for the following day. When Passepartout tells the vicar that his master wants to get married "tommorow, Monday", the vicar replies that the following day is not Monday but Sunday, that day being Saturday December 21, 1872.

Passepartout rushes back to Fogg's house to tell him that he still has a few minutes to win his bet. Fogg realises that he forgot that by traveling east around the world he gained a day when he crossed the International Date Line. He walks through the doors of the Reform Club at precisely 8:45pm on Saturday December 21, 1872. He has won his bet, regained his fortune and earned the love of Aouda too.

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