Jules Verne Forum



Re: Obscure CLAUDIUS BOMBARNAC Reference

From: Garmt de Vries <G.deVries~at~fys.ruu.nl>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 15:00:39 +0100 (GMT+0100)
To: jvf~at~leeor.technion.ac.il

> I was just reading an English translation of CLAUDIUS BOMBARNAC -- specifically
> the 1894 Lovell, Coryell, & Co.edition which uses the title THE SPECIAL
> CORRESPONDANT -- and when one minor character is revealed to be attempting to
> circle the world in 39 days, Bombarnac thinks of "Mrs. Bisland who did the
> famous tour in seventy-three days, and Train who did it in seventy . . . "
> Who was Train? (An American? -- that seems to be the thrust of the passage.)
> When did this circumnavigation occur?
> Oh, and while I know who Elizabeth Bisland was, does anyone know if the error
> of her "73 day" trip is Verne's or a translator's? (It actually took her 76 --
> although just showing how elusive this point is, William Butcher in his notes
> to his 80 DAYS translation gives the figure as "79"!)
> RF Bagby

George Francis Train was a rich business man from Boston. In 1870 he had
just finished the work on the Union Pacific RailRoad, and he felt he
needed a change. He got the idea of a fast journey around the world. He
left New York, went to San Francisco, from there to Japan, Hongkong,
Saigon, Singapore, Suez and Marseille. Here he got in trouble when he was
mixed up with the Commune. He drapped himself in the Tricolore and
challenged the soldiers to shoot at their flag. He was arrested and
imprisoned in Lyon. Dumas got him out of jail. The republican politician
Gambetta helped him leave the country in a train. From Liverpool he
returned to NY. The journey took him 80 days, the time spent in prison
not included.
There was another Fogg: William Perry Fogg. He circumnavigated the world
in 1869 (not fast).
Some records of world circumnavigations:
1870 George Francis Train: 80 days
1889 Nellie Bly: 72 days, 6 h. 11 min. 14 sec.
1890 Train: 67 days
1891 Elizabeth Bisland: 73 days
1892 Train: 60 days
1901 Gaston Stiegler: 63 days, 10 h. 20 min.
     (Transsiberian RR made it easier)

In 1928, the 14-year0old Danish boy Palle Huld did it in 44 days, to
celebrate Jules' 100th anniversary. This trip was organized by a
magazine. I have a book of this voyage, written by Palle himself.

There's another nice reference in Claudius Bombarnac: The company is
visiting Righistan Square, and Caterna (an actor) remarks: "Well, I have
seen a far more beautiful square at Porte-Saint-Martin in 'Son of the
Mrs Caterna: "And I at Chatelet in 'Michael Strogoff'."

Received on Wed 13 Mar 1996 - 16:01:29 IST

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