Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in... read more
The story starts in London on October 2, 1872. Phileas Fogg is a rich English gentleman and bachelor living in solitude at Number 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens. Despite his wealth, which is £40,000 (equal to £2,648,577 today), Mr Fogg, whose countenance is described as "repose in action",... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The story starts in London on October 2, 1872. Phileas Fogg is a rich English gentleman and bachelor living in solitude at Number 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens. Despite his wealth, which is £40,000 (equal to £2,648,577 today), Mr Fogg, whose countenance is described as "repose in action", lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about Mr. Fogg's social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Forster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Mr Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout, who is about 30 years old, as a replacement.
Later, on that day, in the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Morning Chronicle, stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Monsieur Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on October 2, 1872, and thus is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, on December 21.
Map of the trip
The proposed schedule
London to Suezrail and steamer7 days
Suez to Bombaysteamer13 days
Bombay to Calcuttarail and elephant3 days
Calcutta to Hong Kongsteamer13 days
Hong Kong to Yokohamasteamer6 days
Yokohama to San Franciscosteamer22 days
San Francisco to New York Cityrail7 days
New York to Londonsteamer and rail9 days
Fogg and Passepartout reach Suez in time. While disembarking in Egypt, they are watched by a Scotland Yard detective named Fix, who has been dispatched from London in search of a bank robber. Because Fogg happens to answer the description of the bank robber, Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. Since he cannot secure a warrant in time, Fix goes on board the steamer conveying the travellers to Bombay. During the voyage, Fix becomes acquainted with Passepartout, without revealing his purpose. On the voyage, Fogg promises the engineer a large reward if he gets them to Bombay early. They dock two days ahead of schedule.
After reaching India they take a train from Bombay (known today as Mumbai) to Calcutta (Kolkata). About halfway there, Fogg learns that the Daily Telegraph newspaper article was wrong—the railroad ends at Kholby and starts 50 miles further on at Allahabad. Fogg promptly buys an elephant, hires a guide, and starts toward Allahabad.
During the ride, they come across a procession, in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is led to a sanctuary to be sacrificed by the process of sati the next day by Brahmins. Since the young woman is drugged with the smoke of opium and hemp and is obviously not going voluntarily, the travellers decide to rescue her. They follow the procession to the site, where Passepartout secretly takes the place of Aouda's deceased husband on the funeral pyre, on which she is to be burned the next morning. During the ceremony, he then rises from the pyre, scaring off the priests, and carries the young woman away. Due to this incident, the two days gained earlier are lost, but Fogg shows no sign of regret.
The travellers then hasten on to catch the train at the next railway station, taking Aouda with them. At Calcutta, they can finally board a steamer going to Hong Kong. Fix, who has secretly been following them, has Fogg and Passepartout arrested in Calcutta. However, they jump bail and Fix is forced to follow them to Hong Kong. On board, he shows himself to Passepartout, who is delighted to meet again his travelling companion from the earlier voyage.
In Hong Kong, it turns out that Aouda's distant relative, in whose care they had been planning to leave her, has moved, probably to Holland, so they decide to take her with them to Europe. Meanwhile, still without a warrant, Fix sees Hong Kong as his last chance to arrest Fogg on British soil. He therefore confides in Passepartout, who does not believe a word and remains convinced that his master is not a bank robber. To prevent Passepartout from informing his master about the premature departure of their next vessel, Fix gets Passepartout drunk and drugs him in an opium den. In his dizziness, Passepartout still manages to catch the steamer to Yokohama, but neglects to inform Fogg.
Fogg, on the next day, discovers that he has missed his connection. He goes in search of a vessel that will take him to Yokohama. He finds a pilot boat that takes him and Aouda to Shanghai, where they catch a steamer to Yokohama. In Yokohama, they go on a search for Passepartout, believing that he may have arrived there on the original boat. They find him in a circus, trying to earn the fare for his homeward journey. Reunited, the four board a steamer taking them across the Pacific to San Francisco. Fix promises Passepartout that now, having left British soil, he will no longer try to delay Fogg's journey, but rather support him in getting back to Britain as fast as possible to minimize the amount of his share of the stolen money that Fogg can spend..
In San Francisco they get on a trans-American train to New York, encountering a number of obstacles along the way: a massive herd of bison crossing the tracks, a failing suspension bridge, and most disastrously, the train is attacked and overcome by Sioux warriors. After heroically uncoupling the locomotive from the carriages, Passepartout is kidnapped by the Indians, but Fogg rescues him after some American soldiers volunteer to help. They continue by a wind powered sledge over the snowy prairie to Omaha, where they get a train to New York.
Once in New York, and having missed departure of their ship (the China) by 45 minutes, Fogg starts looking for an alternative for the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. He finds a small steamboat, destined for Bordeaux. However, the captain of the boat refuses to take the company to Liverpool, whereupon Fogg consents to be taken to Bordeaux for the price of $2000 (equal to $36,544 today) per passenger. On the voyage, he bribes the crew to mutiny and take course for Liverpool. Against hurricane winds and going on full steam all the time, the boat runs out of fuel after a few days. Fogg buys the boat at a very high price from the captain, soothing him thereby, and has the crew burn all the wooden parts to keep up the steam.
The companions arrive at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, in time to reach London via Dublin and Liverpool before the deadline. However, once on British soil again, Fix produces a warrant and arrests Fogg. A short time later, the misunderstanding is cleared up—the actual bank robber had been caught three days earlier in Edinburgh. In response to this, Fogg, in a rare moment of impulse, punches Fix, who immediately falls to the ground. However, Fogg has missed the train and returns to London five minutes late, assured that he has lost the wager.
In his London house the next day, he apologises to Aouda for bringing her with him, since he now has to live in poverty and cannot financially support her. Aouda suddenly confesses that she loves him and asks him to marry her, which he gladly accepts. He calls for Passepartout to notify the reverend. At the reverend's, Passepartout learns that he is mistaken in the date, which he takes to be Sunday but which actually is Saturday because the party travelled east, thereby gaining a full day on their journey around the globe, by crossing the International Date Line. He did not notice this after landing in North America because the only phase of the trip that depended on vehicles departing less often than daily was the Atlantic crossing, and he had hired his own ship for that.
Passepartout hurries back to Fogg, who immediately sets off for the Reform Club, where he arrives just in time to win the wager. Fogg marries Aouda and the journey around the world is complete.
Passepartout and Fogg carried only a carpet bag with only two shirts and three pairs of stockings each, a mackintosh, a travelling cloak, and a spare pair of shoes. The only book they carried is Bradshaw's Continental Railway Steam Transit and General Guide. This contains timetables of trains and steamers. He also carried a huge roll of English banknotes-about £20,000 pounds. He also left with twenty guineas (equal to £1,391 today) won at whist, of which he soon disposed.<4>
<edit>Background and analysis
Around the World in Eighty Days was written during difficult times, both for France and for Verne. It was during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871) in which Verne was conscripted as a coastguard, he was having money difficulties (his previous works were not paid royalties), his father had died recently, and he had witnessed a public execution which had disturbed him.<5> However despite all this, Verne was excited about his work on the new book, the idea of which came to him one afternoon in a Paris café while reading a newspaper (see "Origins" below).
The technological innovations of the 19th century had opened the possibility of rapid circumnavigation and the prospect fascinated Verne and his readership.<5> In particular three technological breakthroughs occurred in 1869-70 that made a tourist-like around-the-world journey possible for the first time: the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in America (1869), the linking of the Indian railways across the sub-continent (1870), and the opening of the Suez Canal (1869).<5> It was another notable mark in the end of an age of exploration and the start of an age of fully global tourism that could be enjoyed in relative comfort and safety. It sparked the imagination that anyone could sit down, draw up a schedule, buy tickets and travel around the world, a feat previously reserved for only the most heroic and hardy of adventurers.<5>
Verne is often characterised as a futurist or science fiction author but there is not a glimmer of science-fiction in this, his most popular work (at least in English speaking countries).<5> Rather than any futurism, it remains a memorable portrait of the British Empire "on which the sun never sets" shortly before its very peak, drawn by an outsider.<5> It is also interesting to note that, as of 2006, there has never been a critical edition of Around the World in Eighty Days. This is in part due to the poor translations available of his works, the stereotype of "science fiction" or "boys' literature". However, Verne's works were being looked at more seriously in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with new translations and scholarship appearing. It is also rather interesting to note that the book is a source of common notable English and extended British attitudes in quotes such as, "Phileas Fogg and Sir Francis Cromarty ... endured the discomfort with true British phlegm, talking little, and scarcely able to catch a glimpse of each other" as seen in Chapter Twelve when the group is being jostled around on the elephant ride across the jungle. Also seen in chapter Twenty-Five, when Phileas Fogg is insulted in San Francisco, and Detective Fix acknowledges that "It was clear that Mr. Fogg was one of those Englishmen who, while they do not tolerate dueling at home, fight abroad when their honor is attacked."
The closing date of the novel, 22 December 1872, was also the same date as the serial publication.<5> As it was being published serially for the first time, some readers believed that the journey was actually taking place — bets were placed, and some railway companies and ship liner companies actually lobbied Verne to appear in the book.<5> It is unknown if Verne actually submitted to their requests, but the descriptions of some rail and shipping lines leave some suspicion he was influenced.<5>
Although a journey by hot air balloon has become one of the images most strongly associated with the story, this iconic symbol was never deployed in the book by Verne himself – the idea is briefly brought up in chapter 32, but dismissed, it "would have been highly risky and, in any case, impossible." However the popular 1956 movie adaptation Around the World in Eighty Days floated the balloon idea, and it has now become a part of the mythology of the story, even appearing on book covers. This plot element is reminiscent of Verne's earlier Five Weeks in a Balloon which first made him a well-known author.
“'Why, you are a man of heart!' 'Sometimes,' replied Phileas Fogg, quietly; 'when I have the time.'”
“Passepartout was astounded, and, though ready to attempt anything to get over Medicine Creek, thought the experiment proposed a little too American.”
“Mr. Fogg essayed to calm her anxieties, and to assure her that everything would be mathematically--he used the very word--arranged. Aouda fastened her great eyes, 'clear as the sacred lakes of the Himalaya,' upon him; but the intractable Fogg, as reserved as ever, did not seem at all inclined to throw himself into this lake.”
I. In which Phileas Fogg and Passepartout Accept Each Other, the One as Master, the Other as Servant
II. In which Passepartout is Convinced that he has at Last Found his Ideal
III. In which a Conversation Takes Place which Seems Likely to Cost Phileas Fogg Dear
IV. In which Phileas Fogg Astounds Passepartout, His Servant
V. In which a New Species of Funds, Unknown to the Moneyed Men, Appears on 'Change
VI. In which Fix, the Detective, Betrays a very Natural Impatience
VII. Which Once More Demonstrates the Uselessness of Passports as Aids to Detectives
VIII. In which Passepartout Talks Rather More, Perhaps, than is Prudent
IX. In which the Read Sea and the Indian Ocean Prove Propitious to the Designs of Phileas Fogg
X. In Which Passepartout is only Too Glad to Get off with the Loss of His Shoes
XI. In which Phileas Fogg Secures a Curious Means of Conveyance at a Fabulous Price
XII. In which Phileas Fogg and his Companions Venture Across the Indian Forests, and What Ensued
XIII. In which Passepartout Receives a New Proof That Fortune Favor the Brave
XIV. In which Phileas Fogg Descends the Whole Length of the Beautiful Valley of the Ganges Without Ever Thinking of Seeing It
XV. In which the Bag of Banknotes Disgorges Some Thousands of Pounds More
XVI. In which Fix Does Not Seem to Understand in the Least What is Said to Him
XVII. Showing What Happened on the Voyage From Singapore to Hong Kong
XVIII. In which Phileas Fogg, Passepartout, and Fix Go Each About his Business
XIX. In which Passepartout Takes a too Great Interest in his Master, and What Comes of It
XX. In which Fix Comes Face to Face with Phileas Fogg
XXI. In which the Master of the "Tankadere" Runs Great Risk of Losing a Reward of Two Hundred Pounds
XXII. In which Passepartout Finds Out that, Even at the Antipodes, it is Convenient to Have Some Money in One's Pocket
XXIII. In which Passepartout's Nose Becomes Outrageously Long
XXIV. During which Mr. Fogg and Party Cross the Pacific Ocean
XXV. In which a Slight Glimpse is had of San Francisco
XXVI. In which Phileas Fogg and Party Travel by the Pacific Railroad.
XXVII. In which Passepartout Undergoes, at a Speed of Twenty Miles and Hour, a Course of Mormon History
XXVIII. In which Passepartout Does Not Succeed in Making Anybody Listen to Reason
XXIX. In which Certain Incidents are Narrated which are Only to be Met with on American Railroads
XXX. In which Phileas Fogg Simply Does his Duty
XXXI. In which Fix, The Detective, Considerably Furthers the Interests of Phileas Fogg
XXXII. In which Phileas Fogg Engages in a Direct Struggle with Bad Fortune
XXXIII. In which Phileas Fogg Shows Himself Equal to the Occasion
XXXIV. In which Phileas Fogg At Last Reaches London
XXXV. In which Phileas Fogg Does Not Have to Repeat his Orders to Passepartout Twice
XXXVI. In which Phileas Fogg's Name is Once More at a Premium on 'Change
XXXVII. In which it is SHown that Phileas Fogg Gained Nothing by his Tour Around the World, Unless it were Hapiness
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