Adventure, discoveries, exploration and dangers which hold your attention to the last page. Jules Verne’s ”Five Weeks in a Balloon” from 1865 combines all of them successfully. It tells the story of the explorer Dr. Fergusson who together with a few more people embark on a scientific expedition with a balloon. Their main goal is to study the then-called ”dark continent” Africa which few knew anything of. The mission is not without obstacles as they have to experience windless days, face conflicts with natives and even try to escape a military army.
Will the balloon take them safely home or their expedition will be doomed to failure? Is their perseverance and determination enough to find work-arounds or there are higher powers watching over them? Jules Verne (1828-1905) was a French novelist who mostly wrote adventure fiction inspired by the scientific advances of the 19th century. With the help of editor Pierre-Jules Hetzel he wrote a series of books called ”Extraordinary Travels”, which includes ”Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1864), ”Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” (1870), and ”Around the World in Eighty Days” (1873). Widely popular with both children and adults, Verne is one of the most translated authors of all times, and still inspires people the world over.
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