Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingts Jours

Verne_Tour_du_MondeToday we have a bonus “This Day in History” to celebrate the first publication of Jules Verne’s Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingts Jours (also known as Around the World in 80 Days to English speakers) on January 30th, 1873.

 

The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1st, 1872. Phileas Fogg is a rich English gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his 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), Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout as a replacement.

'Around_the_World_in_Eighty_Days'_by_Neuville_and_Benett_04At the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph 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 (equal to about £1.6 million today) from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday, October 2nd, 1872, and is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, Saturday, December 21st, 1872.

Around the World in 80 Days is the inspiration for the theme of the 2015 Steampunk Symposium, and even the inspiration behind the name change that occurred last year when the Steampunk Empire Symposium became the International Steampunk Symposium! But unlike Phileas Fogg, we only have 48 hours for our competing Airships to race around the world and claim the esteemed Symposium Trophy!

Flourish 3

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