A Voyage in a Balloon (1852) by Jules Verne

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Voyage in a Balloon (1852), by Jules Verne,
et al, Translated by Anne T. Wilbur

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: A Voyage in a Balloon (1852)

Author: Jules Verne

Release Date: June 17, 2005 [eBook #16085]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


E-text prepared by Norm Wolcott



Jules Verne


From _Sartain's Union Magazine of Literature and Art_ (Philadelphia:
1849-1852): May 1852: VOL. X. No. 5: p. 389-395.

John Sartain (1808-1897) was an English artist and engraver skilled
in the art of mezzotint who emigrated to the United States; in 1848
he purchased a one-half interest in the "Union Magazine", a New York
periodical, which he transferred to Philadelphia. The name was changed
to "Sartain's Union Magazine", and during the four years of its
existence the journal became widely known, publishing works of Poe and
other literati. The article here is a translation of "La science en

no. 11 (August 1851), pp. 329-336 (5 illustrations by A. de Bar, two
chapters). This is a different version from the one published by Hetzel;
"Un drame dans les airs", in: _Le Docteur Ox_, 19 October 1874, (ed. C &
D) (6 illustrations by Emile Bayard, only one chapter!).

In this early work we see the ingredients of Verne's later _Voyages
Extraordinaires_; characters brought or thrown together on a journey to
afar; introduction of new characters part way through the story; careful
scientific explanation of critical events (the ascension, filling
the balloon, rising and falling, ballast); use of dialogue to convey
scientific information (the history of ballooning); use of scientific
instruments (barometer, compass); chapter heads to presage the
story; escapes from perilous events caused by scientific or natural

One may also wonder why Hetzel removed the description of the inflation
of the balloon with hydrogen gas. In fact hydrogen is barely mentioned
in the revised story. Could it be that while Hetzel approved of Verne's
scientific descriptions of impossible undertakings, when it came to real
exploits such as ballooning he did not want his juvenile readers
experimenting with the "hogsheads of sulphuric acid and nails" to
produce explosive hydrogen? In fact in the Hetzel version the lifting
gas hydrogen is replaced with "illuminating gas", an inferior, though
lighter than air material, but one which his readers would find
difficult to use for deadly experimentation.

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