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The Story

Jule Verne's Books Online

From the Earth to the Moon

Pre-1922 English edition with illustrations from the original 1865 French edition. Based on the Project Gutenberg EText moon10.txt typed in by Rich Schroeppel.

De la Terre à la Lune

Original French language edition with illustrations from the original 1865 French edition.

All Around the Moon

Illustrated Project Gutenberg version by Edward Roth.

Autour de la Lune

French version


Summary of Jules Verne's story

>"From the Earth to the Moon" was written by Jules Verne in 1865, the year that America's Civil war ended. Touched by the massive destruction he had read about, Verne began ta muse over the possibilities of using the destructive technology of cannons and explosives in a more peaceful, unifying endeavour -- a moon shot.

In post-bellum America, the Baltimore Gun Club, a group of irascible artillery enthusiasts and military men (many with injuries and missing limbs), gather to recall their military days. Their president, Impey Barbicane, suggests they try an altogether new use of the technology of gunpowder -- shooting a projectile to the moon ! The idea is greeted with enthusiasm, and the project rapidly gets under way.

When all plans are nearly complete, the Gun Club receives a telegram from Paris. An adventurer named Michel Ardan offers ta ride in the shell ail the way to the moon. He is soon joined in the adventure by President Barbicane and his arch rival in gunnery expertise Captain Nicholl (who volunteers to accompany them just to witness the fact that it won't work!). The shell is equipped with tufted watts and other touches of comfort, and the day is set.

The book ends with the firing of the gun. Would the space travelers be heard from again? That question would be answered in the book's sequel -- "Around the Moon." Firing auxiliary rockets, the trio breaks out of orbit around the moon and floats back to Earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

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