Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is an adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in French in 1872. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a 20,000 wager (approximately 2.3 million in 2020) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne's most acclaimed works.
The story starts in London on Wednesday, 2 October 1872.
Phileas Fogg is a rich British gentleman living a solitary life. 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, where he spends the best part of his days. Having dismissed his former valet, James Forster, for bringing him shaving water at 84F (29C) instead of 86F (30C), Fogg hires Frenchman Jean Passepartout as a replacement.
At 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 (approximately 2.3 million in 2020), half of his total fortune, from his fellow club members to complete such a journey within this time period. With Passepartout accompanying him, Fogg departs from London by train at 8:45p.m. on 2 October; in order to win the wager, he must return to the club by this same time on 21 December, 80 days later. They take the remaining 20,000 of Fogg's fortune with them to cover expenses during the journey.
Fogg and Passepartout reach Suez in time. While disembarking in Egypt, they are watched by a Scotland Yard policeman, Detective Fix, who has been dispatched from London in search of a bank robber. Since Fogg fits the vague description Scotland Yard was given of the robber, Detective Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. Since he cannot secure a warrant in time, Fix boards the steamer (the Mongolia) conveying the travellers to Bombay. Fix becomes acquainted with Passepartout without revealing his purpose. Fogg promises the steamer engineer a large reward if he gets them to Bombay early. They dock two days ahead of schedule.
After reaching India, they take a train from Bombay to Calcutta. Fogg learns that the Daily Telegraph article was wrong; a 50-mile stretch of track from Kholby to Allahabad has not yet been built. Fogg purchases an elephant, hires a guide, and starts toward Allahabad.
They come across a procession in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is to undergo sati. Since she is drugged with opium and hemp and is obviously not going voluntarily, the travellers decide to rescue her. They follow the procession to the site, where Passepartout takes the place of Aouda's deceased husband on the funeral pyre. During the ceremony he rises from the pyre, scaring off the priests, and carries Aouda away. The twelve hours gained earlier are lost, but Fogg shows no regret.
The travellers hasten to catch the train at the next railway station, taking Aouda with them. At Calcutta, they board a steamer (the Rangoon) going to Hong Kong, with a day's stopover in Singapore. Fix has Fogg and Passepartout arrested. They jump bail and Fix follows them to Hong Kong. He shows himself to Passepartout, who is delighted to again meet his travelling companion from the earlier voyage.
In Hong Kong, it turns out that Aouda's distant relative, in whose care they had been planning to leave her, has moved to Holland, so they decide to take her with them to Europe. Still without a warrant, Fix sees Hong Kong as his last chance to arrest Fogg on British soil. Passepartout becomes convinced that Fix is a spy from the Reform Club. Fix confides in Passepartout, who does not believe a word and remains convinced that his master is not a bank robber. To prevent Passepartout from informing his master about the premature departure of their next vessel, the Carnatic, Fix gets Passepartout drunk and drugs him in an opium den. Passepartout still manages to catch the steamer to Yokohama, but is not able to inform Fogg that the steamer is leaving the evening before its scheduled departure date.
Fogg discovers that he missed his connection. He searches for a vessel that will take him to Yokohama, finding a pilot boat, the Tankadere, that takes him and Aouda to Shanghai, where they catch a steamer to Yokohama. In Yokohama, they search for Passepartout, believing that he arrived there on the Carnatic as originally planned. They find him in a circus, trying to earn the fare for his homeward journey. Reunited, the four board a paddle-steamer, the General Grant, taking them across the Pacific to San Francisco. Fix promises Passepartout that now, having left British soil, he will no longer try to delay Fogg's journey, but instead support him in getting back to Britain so he can arrest Fogg in Britain itself.
In San Francisco they board a transcontinental train to New York, encountering a number of obstacles along the way: a massive herd of bison crossing the tracks, a failing suspension bridge, and the train being attacked by Sioux warriors. After uncoupling the locomotive from the carriages, Passepartout is kidnapped by the Indians, but Fogg rescues him after American soldiers volunteer to help. They continue by a wind powered sledge to Omaha, where they get a train to New York.
In New York, having missed the ship China, Fogg looks for alternative transport. He finds a steamboat, the Henrietta, destined for Bordeaux, France. The captain of the boat refuses to take the company to Liverpool, whereupon Fogg consents to be taken to Bordeaux for $2,000 ($207,540 in 2017) per passenger. He then bribes the crew to mutiny and make course for Liverpool. Against hurricane winds and going on full steam, the boat runs out of fuel after a few days. Fogg buys the boat from the captain and has the crew burn all the wooden parts to keep up the steam.
The companions arrive at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, take the train to Dublin and then a ferry to Liverpool, still in time to reach London before the deadline. Once on English soil, Fix produces a warrant and arrests Fogg. A short time later, the misunderstanding is cleared up the actual robber, an individual named James Strand, had been caught three days earlier in Edinburgh. However, Fogg has missed the train and arrives in London five minutes late, certain he has lost the wager.
The following day Fogg apologises to Aouda for bringing her with him, since he now has to live in poverty and cannot support her. Aouda confesses that she loves him and asks him to marry her. As Passepartout notifies a minister, he learns that he is mistaken in the date it is not 22 December, but instead 21 December. Because the party had travelled eastward, their days were shortened by four minutes for each of the 360 degrees of longitude they crossed; thus, although they had experienced the same amount of time abroad as people had experienced in London, they had seen 80 sunrises and sunsets while London had seen only 79. Passepartout informs Fogg of his mistake, and Fogg hurries to the Reform Club just in time to meet his deadline and win the wager. Having spent almost 19,000 of his travel money during the journey, he divides the remainder between Passepartout and Fix and marries Aouda.
Background and analysis
Around the World in Eighty Days was written during difficult times, both for France and for Verne. It was during the Franco-Prussian War (18701871) in which Verne was conscripted as a coastguard; he was having financial difficulties (his previous works were not paid royalties); his father had died recently; and he had witnessed a public execution, which had disturbed him. Despite all this, Verne was excited about his work on the new book, the idea of which came to him one afternoon in a Paris caf while reading a newspaper.
The technological innovations of the 19th century had opened the possibility of rapid circumnavigation and the prospect fascinated Verne and his readership. In particular, three technological breakthroughs occurred in 186970 that made a tourist-like around-the-world journey possible for the first time: the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in America (1869), the linking of the Indian railways across the sub-continent (1870), and the opening of the Suez Canal (1869). It was another notable mark in the end of an age of exploration and the start of an age of fully global tourism that could be enjoyed in relative comfort and safety. It sparked the imagination that anyone could sit down, draw up a schedule, buy tickets and travel around the world, a feat previously reserved for only the most heroic and hardy of adventurers.
Verne's works began receiving more serious reviews in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with new translations appearing. Post-Colonial readings of the novel elucidate Verne's role as propagandist for European global dominance. Verne's novel, one of the most widely read of the 19th century, played a major role in shaping European attitudes of the colonized lands.
The closing date of the novel, 21 December 1872, was the same date as the serial publication. As it was being published serially for the first time, some readers believed that the journey was actually taking place bets were placed, and some railway companies and ship liner companies lobbied Verne to appear in the book. It is unknown if Verne submitted to their requests, but the descriptions of some rail and shipping lines leave some suspicion he was influenced.
Although a journey by balloon has become one of the images most strongly associated with the story, it does not appear in the book the idea is proposed in Chapter 32, but dismissed, as it "would have been highly risky and, in any case, impossible." However, the 1956 movie adaptation Around the World in Eighty Days used the balloon idea, and it has now become a part of the mythology of the story, even appearing on book covers. This plot element is reminiscent of Verne's earlier Five Weeks in a Balloon, which first made him a well-known author.
Concerning the final coup de thtre, Fogg had thought it was one day later than it actually was, because he had forgotten that during his journey, he had added a full day to his clock, at the rate of an hour per fifteen degrees of longitude crossed. At the time of publication and until 1884, a de jure International Date Line did not exist. If it did, he would have been made aware of the change in date once he reached this line. Thus, the day he added to his clock throughout his journey would be removed upon crossing this imaginary line. However, in the real world, Fogg's mistake would not have been likely to occur because a de facto date line did exist. The UK, India and the US had the same calendar with different local times. He would have noticed, when he arrived in San Francisco, that the local date was actually one day earlier than shown in his travel diary. As a consequence, it is unlikely he would fail to notice that the departure dates of the transcontinental train in San Francisco and of the China steamer in New York were actually one day earlier than his personal travel diary. He would also somehow have to avoid looking at any newspapers. Additionally, in Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet?, John Sutherland points out that Fogg and company would have to be "deaf, dumb and blind" not to notice how busy the streets were on an apparent "Sunday", with the Sunday Observance Act 1780 still in effect.
Following publication in 1873, various people attempted to follow Fogg's fictional circumnavigation, often within self-imposed constraints:
- In 1889, Nellie Bly undertook to travel around the world in 80 days for her newspaper, the New York World. She managed to do the journey within 72 days, meeting Verne in Amiens. Her book Around the World in Seventy-Two Days became a best seller.
- In 1903, James Willis Sayre, a Seattle theatre critic and arts promoter, set a world record for circling the earth using public transport: 54 days, 9 hours, and 42 minutes.
- In 1908, Harry Bensley, on a wager, set out to circumnavigate the world on foot wearing an iron mask. The journey was abandoned, incomplete, at the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
- In 1928, 15-year-old Danish Boy Scout Palle Huld traveled around the world by train and ship in the opposite direction to the one in the book. His trip was sponsored by a Danish newspaper and made on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Jules Verne. The trip was described in the book A Boy Scout Around the World. It took 44 days. He took the Trans-Siberian Railway and did not go by India.
- In 1984, Nicholas Coleridge emulated Fogg's trip, taking 78 days, He wrote a book titled Around the World in 78 Days.
- In 1988, Monty Python member Michael Palin took on a similar challenge without using aircraft, as a part of a television travelogue, called Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin. He completed the journey in 79 days and 7 hours.
- Since 1993, the Jules Verne Trophy has been given to the boat that sails around the world without stopping and with no outside assistance, in the shortest time.
- In 2009, twelve celebrities performed a relay version of the journey for the BBC Children in Need charity appeal.
- In 2017, Mark Beaumont, a British cyclist inspired by Verne, set out to cycle across the world in 80 days. He completed the trip in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes, after departing from Paris on 2 July 2017. Beaumont beat the previous world record of 123 days, set by Andrew Nicholson, by cycling 18,000 miles across the globe visiting Russia, Mongolia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US and a number of countries in Europe.
The idea of a trip around the world within a set period had clear external origins and was popular before Verne published his book in 1873. Even the title Around the World in Eighty Days is not original. Several sources have been hypothesized as the origins of the story.
Greek traveller Pausanias (c. 100 AD) wrote a work that was translated into French in 1797 as Voyage autour du monde ("Around the World").
Another early reference comes from the Italian traveler Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri. He wrote a book in 1699 that was translated into French: Voyage around the World or Voyage du Tour du Monde (1719, Paris). The novel documents his trip as one of the first Europeans to circle the world for pleasure rather than profit, using publicly available transportation. Gemelli Careri provides rich accounts of seventeenth-century civilization outside of Europe. These include Persia during the Ottoman Empire, Hindustan during the reign of Aurungzebe, the Chinese Lantern Festival and the Great Wall, and the native people of Meso-America. References to his books can be found in other historical publications like the Calcutta Review.
Verne's friend Jacques Arago had written a very popular Voyage autour du monde in 1853.
In 186970 the idea of travelling around the world reached critical popular attention when three geographical breakthroughs occurred: the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in America (1869), the linking of the Indian railways across the sub-continent (1870), and the opening of the Suez Canal (1869).
In 1871 appeared Around the World by Steam, via Pacific Railway, published by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, and an Around the World in A Hundred and Twenty Days by Edmond Planchut. In early 1870, the Erie Railway Company published a statement of routes, times, and distances detailing a trip around the globe of 23,739 miles in seventy-seven days and twenty-one hours.
American William Perry Fogg traveled the world, describing his tour in a series of letters to The Cleveland Leader newspaper, entitled, Round the World: Letters from Japan, China, India, and Egypt (1872).
In 1872, Thomas Cook organised the first around-the-world tourist trip, leaving on 20 September 1872 and returning seven months later. The journey was described in a series of letters that were published in 1873 as Letter from the Sea and from Foreign Lands, Descriptive of a tour Round the World. Scholars have pointed out similarities between Verne's account and Cook's letters, although some argue that Cook's trip happened too late to influence Verne. Verne, according to a second-hand 1898 account, refers to a Cook advertisement as a source for the idea of his book. In interviews in 1894 and 1904, Verne says the source was "through reading one day in a Paris cafe" and "due merely to a tourist advertisement seen by chance in the columns of a newspaper." Around the World itself says the origins were a newspaper article. All of these point to Cook's advert as being a probable spark for the idea of the book.
The periodical Le Tour du monde (3 October 1869) contained a short piece titled "Around the World in Eighty Days", which refers to "140 miles" of railway not yet completed between Allahabad and Bombay, a central point in Verne's work. But even the Le Tour de monde article was not entirely original; it cites in its bibliography the Nouvelles Annales des Voyages, de la Gographie, de l'Histoire et de l'Archologie (August, 1869), which also contains the title Around the World in Eighty Days in its contents page. The Nouvelles Annales were written by Conrad Malte-Brun (17751826) and his son Victor Adolphe Malte-Brun (18161889). Scholars believe that Verne was aware of the Le Tour de monde article, the Nouvelles Annales, or both, and that he consulted it and/or them, noting that the Le Tour du monde even included a trip schedule very similar to Verne's final version.
A possible inspiration was the traveller George Francis Train, who made four trips around the world, including one in 80 days in 1870. Similarities include the hiring of a private train and being imprisoned. Train later claimed, "Verne stole my thunder. I'm Phileas Fogg."
Regarding the idea of gaining a day, Verne said of its origin: "I have a great number of scientific odds and ends in my head. It was thus that, when, one day in a Paris caf, I read in the Sicle that a man could travel around the world in 80 days, it immediately struck me that I could profit by a difference of meridian and make my traveller gain or lose a day in his journey. There was a dnouement ready found. The story was not written until long after. I carry ideas about in my head for years ten, or 15 years, sometimes before giving them form." In his April 1873 lecture, "The Meridians and the Calendar", Verne responded to a question about where the change of day actually occurred, since the international date line had only become current in 1880 and the Greenwich prime meridian was not adopted internationally until 1884. Verne cited an 1872 article in Nature, and Edgar Allan Poe's short story "Three Sundays in a Week" (1841), which was also based on going around the world and the difference in a day linked to a marriage at the end. Verne even analysed Poe's story in his Edgar Poe and His Works (1864). Poe's story "Three Sundays in a Week" was clearly the inspiration for the lost day plot device.
Adaptations and influences
The book has been adapted or reimagined many times in different forms.
- The science fiction novel The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jos Farmer (1973) gives an alternative interpretation of the story.
- The novel Around the world in 100 days by Gary Blackwood (2010) serves as a sequel to the events in 80 days. The book follows Phileas's son as he tries to travel around the world by car instead of train, hence the longer time limit.
- A stage adaptation by Verne and Adolphe d'Ennery was produced in 1874.
- In 1946, Orson Welles produced and starred in Around the World, a musical stage version, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, that was only loosely faithful to Verne's original.
- A musical version, 80 Days, with songs by Ray Davies of The Kinks and a book by playwright Snoo Wilson, directed by Des McAnuff, ran at the Mandell Weiss Theatre in San Diego from August 23 to October 9, 1988, receiving mixed responses from the critics. Davies's multi-faceted music, McAnuff's directing, and the acting were well received, with the show winning the "Best Musical" award from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.
- Mark Brown adapted the book for a five-actor stage production in 2001. It has been performed in New York, Canada, England, South Africa, and Bangladesh.
- Toby Hulse created an adaptation for three actors, which was first produced at the Egg at The Theatre Royal, Bath in 2010. It was revived at the Arcola Theatre in London in 2013 and The Theatre Chipping Norton in 2014.
- Jules Verne Around the World in Eighty Days, a 4-part drama adaptation by Terry James and directed by Janet Whittaker for BBC Radio 7 (now BBC Radio 4 Extra), starred Leslie Phillips as Phileas Fogg, Yves Aubert as Passepartout and Jim Broadbent as Sergeant Fix.
- Around the World in Eighty Days, a 1919 German film starring Conrad Veidt, the first film version.
- An Indian Fantasy Story, an unfinished French/English co-production from 1938, featuring the wager at the Reform Club and the rescue of the Indian Princess. It was never completed.
- The 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days starred David Niven as Fogg, Cantinflas as Passepartout, Robert Newton as Detective Fix and Shirley MacLaine as Princess Aouda.
- 1963 saw the release of The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze, presented as a sequel to the original story starring Phileas Fogg, III.
- Around the World in 80 Days, a film produced and released in 1988, is an Australian animated adaptation. (As described below, there had been a television adaptation sixteen years earlier, likewise animated and also of Australian origin.)
- The 1994 video The Singing Kettle, a Scottish adaptation starring Cilla Fisher, Artie Trezise, and Gary Coupland.
- Around the World in 80 Days, a 1999 animated film starring Simon Callow, John Sessions and Philip Jackson
- The 2000 film Tweety's High-Flying Adventure, an updated direct-to-video animated film spoof from the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes.
- Around the World in 80 Days, a 2004 Disney live-action film that starred Jackie Chan as Passepartout and Steve Coogan as Fogg.
- The 1972 cartoon Around the World in 80 Days is a one-season Australian animated television adaptation.
- Around the World with Willy Fog is a 26-episode Spanish-Japanese animated TV series by BRB International and Nippon Animation and was made in 1983, in which all the characters are anthropomorphic animals. A second series entitled Willy Fog 2 was made in 1993 that was loosely based on other stories by Jules Verne.
- Around the World in 80 Days is a 1989 miniseries adaptation starring Pierce Brosnan as Fogg, Eric Idle as Passpartout, Julia Nickson as Princess Aouda and Peter Ustinov as Detective Fix.
- Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin, a seven-episode travelogue series produced by the BBC in 1989.
- Around the World in 80 Days, an eight-episode adaptation to air in 2021.
- The board game Around the World in 80 Days is derived from the novel.
- The mobile game company Inkle published an interactive fiction adaptation of the novel, titled 80 Days, which has won numerous awards.
- The 2005 PC video game 80 Days is based on the novel.
- Flightfox created a trip, "Around the World in 80 Hours", to see if flight experts could find flights following the same path as described in the book (for cheap). The online travel company then wrote a fictional eBook based on the results of the contest.
- A dark ride themed on the story, Around The World In Eighty Days, was one of the first permanent attractions at Alton Towers theme park in the United Kingdom, opened 1981.
- Worlds of Fun, an amusement park in Kansas City, Missouri, was conceived using the novel as its theme.
- William Butcher, ed. and trans., Around the World in Eighty Days, Oxford World's Classics (1995, 1999).
- Around the World in Eighty Days at Project Gutenberg. Translation by George Makepeace Towle, 1874.
- Around the World in Eighty Days (French) at Faded Page (Canada)
- Around The World In Eighty Days public domain audiobook at LibriVox
- Around the World in 80 Days
- Around the World in Eighty Days (in French) Audiobook from Literature Audio.com