From the Earth to the Moon [NOOK Book]

Overview

Written almost a century before the daring flights of the astronauts, Jules Verne's prophetic novel of man's race to the stars is a classic adventure tale enlivened by broad satire and scientific acumen.

When the members of the elite Baltimore Gun Club find themselves lacking any urgent assignments at the close of the Civil War, their president, Impey Barbicane, proposes that they build a gun big enough to launch a rocket to the moon. But when Barbicane's adversary places a huge...

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From the Earth to the Moon

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Overview

Written almost a century before the daring flights of the astronauts, Jules Verne's prophetic novel of man's race to the stars is a classic adventure tale enlivened by broad satire and scientific acumen.

When the members of the elite Baltimore Gun Club find themselves lacking any urgent assignments at the close of the Civil War, their president, Impey Barbicane, proposes that they build a gun big enough to launch a rocket to the moon. But when Barbicane's adversary places a huge wager that the project will fail and a daring volunteer elevates the mission to a "manned" flight, one man's dream turns into an international space race.

Written almost a century before the daring flights of the astronauts, Jules Verne's prophetic novel of man's race to the stars is a story of rip-roaring action, humor, and wild imagination. With broad satire as well as scientific acumen, From the Earth to the Moon spins a tale set in 1865 about a group of men who decide to build a gun big enough to launch a rocket to the moon.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781291358353
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Sold by: LULU PRESS
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,122,482
  • File size: 578 KB

Meet the Author

Jules Verne
Jules Verne was born into a family with seafaring tradition in Nantes, France, in 1828. At an early age he tried to run off and ship out as a cabin boy but was stopped and returned to his family. Verne was sent to Paris to study law, but once there, he quickly fell in love with the theater. He was soon writing plays and opera librettos, and his first play was produced in 1850. When he refused his father’s entreaties to return to Nantes and practice law, his allowance was cut off, and he was forced to make his living by selling stories and articles.

Verne combined his gift for exotic narratives with an interest the latest scientific discoveries. He spent long hours in the Paris libraries studying geology, astronomy, and engineering. Soon he was turning out imaginative stories such as Five Weeks in a Balloon (1863) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), which were immensely popular all over the world. After From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Verne received letter from travelers wishing to sign up for the next lunar expedition. His ability to envision the next stage in man’s technology progress and his childlike wonder at the possibilities produced 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and Michael Strogoff (1876). His biggest success came with Around the World in Eighty Days (1872).

Verne’s books made him famous and rich. In 1876 he bought a large steam yacht, outfitted with a cabin in which he could write more comfortably than on shore. He sailed from one European port to another and was lionized everywhere he went. His books were widely translated, dramatized, and later filmed. He died at Aminens in 1905.

Biography

The creator of the roman scientifique, the popular literary genre known today as science fiction, Jules Gabriel Verne was born in the port town of Nantes, France, in 1828. His father, Pierre, was a prominent lawyer, and his mother, Sophie, was from a successful ship-building family. Despite his father's wish that he pursue law, young Jules was fascinated by the sea and all things foreign and adventurous. Legend holds that at age eleven he ran away from school to work aboard a ship bound for the West Indies but was caught by his father shortly after leaving port. Jules developed an abiding love of science and language from a young age. He studied geology, Latin, and Greek in secondary school, and frequently visited factories, where he observed the workings of industrial machines. These visits likely inspired his desire for scientific plausibility in his writing and perhaps informed his depictions of the submarine Nautilus and the other seemingly fantastical inventions he described.

After completing secondary school, Jules studied law in Paris, as his father had before him. However, during the two years he spent earning his degree, he developed more consuming interests. Through family connections, he entered Parisian literary circles and met many of the distinguished writers of the day. Inspired in particular by novelists Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas (father and son), Verne began writing his own works. His poetry, plays, and short fiction achieved moderate success, and in 1852 he became secretary of the Théâtre lyrique. In 1857 he married Honorine Morel, a young widow with two children. Seeking greater financial security, he took a position as a stockbroker with the Paris firm Eggly and Company. However, he reserved his mornings for writing. Baudelaire's recently published French translation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the days Verne spent researching points of science in the library, inspired him to write a new sort of novel: the roman scientifique. His first such novel, Five Weeks in a Balloon, was an immediate success and earned him a publishing contract with the important editor Pierre-Jules Hetzel.

For the rest of his life, Verne published an average of two novels a year; the fifty-four volumes published during his lifetime, collectively known as Voyages Extraordinaires, include his best-known works, Around the World in Eighty Days and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Begun in 1865 and published to huge success in 1869, Twenty Thousand Leagues has been translated into 147 languages and adapted into dozens of films. The novel also holds the distinction of describing a submarine twenty-five years before one was actually constructed. As a tribute to Verne, the first electric and nuclear submarines were named Nautilus. In 1872 Verne settled in Amiens with his family. During the next several years he traveled extensively on his yachts, visiting such locales as North Africa, Gibraltar, Scotland, and Ireland. In 1886 Verne's mentally ill nephew shot him in the leg, and the author was lame thereafter. This incident, as well as the tumultuous political climate in Europe, marked a change in Verne's perspective on science, exploration, and industry. Although not as popular as his early novels, Verne's later works are in many ways as prescient. Touching on such subjects as the ill effects of the oil industry, the negative influence of missionaries in the South Seas, and the extinction of animal species, they speak to concerns that remain urgent in our own time.

Verne continued writing actively throughout his life, despite failing health, the loss of family members, and financial troubles. At his death in 1905 his desk drawers contained the manuscripts of several new novels. Jules Verne is buried in the Madeleine Cemetery in Amiens.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Good To Know

In 1848, Verne got his start writing librettos for operettas.

When Verne's father found out that his son would rather write than study law, he cut him off financially, and Jules was forced to support himself as a stockbroker -- a job he hated but was fairly good at. During this period, he sought advice and inspiration from authors Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo.

Verne stands as the most translated novelist in the world -- 148 languages, according to UNESCO statistics.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 8, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Nantes, France
    1. Date of Death:
      March 24, 1905
    2. Place of Death:
      Amiens, France
    1. Education:
      Nantes lycée and law studies in Paris

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Gun Club

DURING THE Civil War in the United States an influential club was formed in Baltimore. The vigor with which the military instinct developed in that nation of ship owners, merchants, and mechanics is well known. Shopkeepers left their counters and became captains, colonels, and generals without ever having gone to West Point. They soon equaled their Old World colleagues in the "art of war" and, like them, won victories by lavishly expending ammunition, money, and men.

But in the science of ballistics the Americans far surpassed the Europeans. Not that their guns attained a higher degree of perfection, but they were made much larger and therefore reached much greater ranges. When it comes to grazing fire, plunging fire, direct fire, oblique fire, or raking fire, the English, French, and Prussians have nothing to learn, but their cannons, howitzers, and mortars are only pocket pistols compared to the awesome engines of the American artillery.

This should surprise no one. The Yankees, the world's best mechanics, are engineers the way Italians are mu_sicians and Germans are metaphysicians: by birth. Nothing could then be more natural than for them to bring their bold ingenuity to the science of ballistics. The wonders performed in this domain by men like Parrott, Dahlgren, and Rodman are known to everyone. Armstrong, Paliser, and Treuille de Beaulieu could only bow to their transatlantic rivals.

And so during the terrible struggle between the North and the South the artillerymen reigned supreme. The Union newspapers enthusiastically extolled their inventions, and there was no tradesman so humble, no idler so guileless that he did not rack his brain day and night calculating fantastic trajectories.

Now when an American has an idea he looks for another American who shares it. If there are three of them they elect a president and two vice presidents. If there are four they appoint a secretary and their staff is ready to function. If there are five they convene in a general assembly and their club is formed. That was how it happened in Baltimore. A man who had invented a new cannon associated himself with the man who had cast it and the man who had bored it. That was the nucleus of the Gun Club. A month after its formation it had 1,833 resident members and 30,575 corresponding members.

There was one strict condition for membership in the club: the applicant had to have invented or at least improved a cannon; or if not a cannon, some other kind of firearm. But it must be said that inventors of fifteen-shot revolvers, pivoting rifles, or saber pistols were not held in high esteem. The artillerymen took precedence over them in all circumstances.

"The respect they get," one of the most learned orators of the Gun Club said one day, "is proportional to the mass of their cannons and in direct ratio to the square of the distances reached by their projectiles." This was almost a psychological application of Newton's law of gravity.

Once the Gun Club had been founded, it was easy to imagine the results produced by the Americans' inventive genius. Their cannons took on colossal proportions, and their projectiles reached out beyond all normal limits to cut harmless strollers in half. All these inventions outstripped the timid instruments of European artillery, as the following figures will show.

In the "good old days," a 36-pound cannon ball would go through 36 horses and 68 men at a distance of 100 yards. The art was still in its infancy. It has come a long way since then. The Rodman cannon, which shot a projectile weighing half a ton to a distance of seven miles, could easily have flattened 150 horses and 300 men. The Gun Club considered testing this, but while the horses raised no objection to the experiment, it was unfortunately impossible to find men willing to take part in it.

Be that as it may, these cannons had extremely murderous effects. With each of their shots, combatants fell like wheat before the scythe. Compared to such projectiles what was the famous cannon ball which put twenty-five men out of action at Coutras in 1587, or the one that killed forty infantrymen at Zorndorf in 1758, or the Austrian cannon that felled seventy enemy soldiers each time it was fired at Kesseldorf in 1742? What was the amazing gunfire at Jena or Austerlitz, which decided the outcome of the battle? There was real artillery in the Civil War! At the battle of Gettysburg a conical projectile shot from a rifled cannon struck down 173 Confederates, and during the crossing of the Potomac a Rodman ball sent 215 Southerners into an obviously better world. We must also mention the formidable mortar invented by J. T. Maston, distinguished member and permanent secretary of the Gun Club. It was more lethal than any of the others, for it killed 337 people the first time it was fired, though it is true that it did so by bursting.

What can we add to these figures, so eloquent in themselves? Nothing. It will therefore be easy to accept the calculation made by the statistician Pitcairn: he divided the number of members in the Gun Club by the number of victims of their cannon balls and found that each member had killed an average of 2,375 and a fraction men.

From this figure it is clear that the aims of that learned society were the destruction of the human race for philanthropical reasons and the improvement of war weapons, regarded as instruments of civilization. It was an assemblage of Angels of Death who at the same time were thoroughly decent men.

It must be added that these dauntless Yankees did not confine themselves to theory: they also acquired direct, practical experience. Among them were officers of all ranks, from lieutenant to general, soldiers of all ages, some who had just begun their military career and others who had grown old over their gun carriages. Many fell on the field of battle, and their names were inscribed on the Gun Club's honor roll. Most of those who came back bore the marks of their unquestionable valor. Crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms with iron hooks at the wrist, rubber jaws, silver skulls, platinum noses—nothing was lacking in the collection. The aforementioned Pitcairn calculated that in the Gun Club there was not quite one arm for every four men, and only one leg for every three.

But these valiant artillerymen paid little heed to such trifles, and they felt rightfully proud when a battle report showed the number of casualties to be ten times as great as the number of projectiles used.

One day, however, one sad and wretched day, the survivors of the war made peace. The shooting gradually died down; the mortars fell silent; muzzled howitzers and drooping cannons were taken back to their arsenals; cannon balls were piled up in parks; bloody memories faded; cotton grew magnificently in abundantly fertilized fields; mourning clothes and the grief they represented began to wear thin, and the Gun Club was plunged in idle boredom.

A few relentless workers still made ballistic calculations and went on dreaming of gigantic, incomparable projectiles. But without opportunities for practical application these theories were meaningless, and so the rooms of the Gun Club became deserted, the servants dozed in the antechambers, the newspapers gathered dust on the tables, sounds of sad snoring came from the dark corners, and the members, once so noisy, now reduced to silence by a disastrous peace, lethargically abandoned themselves to visions of platonic artillery.

"It's disheartening!" the worthy Tom Hunter said one evening while his wooden legs were slowly charring in front of the fireplace in the smoking room. "There's nothing to do, nothing to hope for! What a tedious life! Where are the days when we were awakened every morning by the joyful booming of cannons?"

"Those days are gone," replied the dashing Bilsby, trying to stretch his missing arms. "How wonderful they were! You could invent a howitzer and try it out on the enemy as soon as it was cast, then when you came back to camp you'd get a word of praise from Sherman or a handshake from McClellan! But now the generals have become shopkeepers again, and balls of yarn are the deadliest projectiles they're likely to deal with. The future is bleak for artillery in America!"

"You're right, Bilsby, it's a cruel disappointment!" said Colonel Bloomsberry. "One day you give up your calm, peaceful life, you learn the manual of arms, you leave Baltimore and march off to battle, you fight heroically, and then, two or three years later, you have to lose the fruit of all your efforts and do nothing but stand around idly with your hands in your pockets."

The valiant colonel would have been unable to dem_onstrate his own idleness in this way, though not from lack of pockets.

"And no war in sight!" said the famous J. T. Maston, scratching his rubber skull with the iron hook at the end of his arm. "There's not even a cloud on the horizon, and yet there's still so much to be done in the science of artillery! Only this morning I drew up a complete set of plans of a mortar that's destined to change the laws of war!"

"Really?" said Tom Hunter, involuntarily recalling the test firing of Maston's last creation.
"Yes," said Maston. "But what good did it do me to make all those studies and work out all those difficulties? I was only wasting my time. The New World seems determined to live in peace, and the belligerent New York Tribune has begun predicting catastrophes caused by the scandalous growth of the population."

"But there's always a war going on in Europe to _support the principle of nationality," said Colonel Bloomsberry.

"What of it?"

"Well, there might be something for us to do over there, and if our services were accepted . . ."

"What!" cried Bilsby. "Are you suggesting that we do ballistic research for foreigners?"

"It would be better than not doing any at all," retorted the colonel.

"Yes, it would," said J. T. Maston, "but it's out of the question."

"Why?"

"Because in the Old World they have ideas about promotion that are contrary to all our American habits. They think a man can't become a general unless he's first been a second lieutenant, which is the same as saying that you can't be a good gunner unless you've cast the gun yourself! It's . . ."
"Ridiculous, that's what it is!" said Tom Hunter, stabbing the arm of his chair with his Bowie knife. "But since that's how things are, there's nothing left for us to do but plant tobacco or distill whale oil!"

"Do you mean to say," J. T. Maston exclaimed in a ringing voice, "that the last years of our lives will not be devoted to the improvement of firearms? That there will be no new opportunities to test the range of our projectiles? That the air will never again be bright with the flash of our cannons? That there will be no international difficulties which will enable us to declare war on some transatlantic country? That the French will never sink a single one of our steamers, or that the English will never hang any of our citizens in direct violation of the law of nations?"

"No, Maston," replied Colonel Bloomsberry, "we'll never be that lucky. Not one of those things will happen, and even if one of them did happen, it wouldn't do us any good! Americans are getting less and less touchy all the time. It won't be long before we're a nation of old women!"

"We're becoming humble," said Bilsby.

"And we're being humbled!" added Tom Hunter.

"It's all too true!" J. T. Maston said with renewed vehemence. "There are all kinds of reasons for fighting, but we don't fight! We're intent on saving arms and legs for people who don't know what to do with them! And there's no need to look very far for a reason for going to war. For example, America once belonged to England, didn't it?"

"Yes, it did," replied Tom Hunter, angrily poking the fire with the end of his crutch.

"Well, then," said J. T. Maston, "why shouldn't it be England's turn to belong to America?"

"That would be only fair," said Colonel Bloomsberry.

"Just go and suggest it to the President!" said J. T. Maston. "You'll see what kind of a reception he'll give you!"

"It wouldn't be a very polite reception," Bilsby murmured between the four teeth he had saved from battle.

"I certainly won't vote for him in the next election!" said J. T. Maston.

"Neither will I!" the bellicose cripples all shouted at once.

"Meanwhile," said the intrepid J. T. Maston, "if I'm not given a chance to try out my mortar on a real battlefield, I'll resign from the Gun Club and go off into the wilds of Arkansas."

"And we'll all go with you!" replied the others.

Things had reached this point, the members of the Gun Club were becoming more and more wrought up, and the club was threatened with dissolution when an unexpected event forestalled that catastrophe.

The day after the conversation reported above, each member of the club received the following notice:

Baltimore, October 3

The President of the Gun Club has the honor of informing his colleagues that during the meeting on October 5, he will make an announcement that will be of the greatest interest to them. He therefore strongly urges them to be present.
Impey Barbicane
President

Chapter Two


President's Barbicane's Announcement

AT EIGHT o'clock on the evening of October 5, a dense crowd was milling in the rooms of the Gun Club at 21 Union Square. All the members who lived in Baltimore had responded to their president's invitation. As for the corresponding members, express trains were bringing them in by the hundreds and they were pouring through the streets of the city. Large though the meeting hall was, it was unable to hold this influx of learned members, and so they overflowed into the adjoining rooms, the halls, and even into the grounds outside. There they encountered the ordinary people who were swarming around the doors, each one trying to make his way to the front, all eager to learn what President Barbicane's important announcement was going to be, pushing, jostling, and crushing one another with the freedom of action that is peculiar to a populace that has been raised with the idea of self-government.

That evening a stranger in Baltimore would have been unable to enter the meeting hall no matter how much he might have been willing to pay. It was reserved exclusively for the resident and corresponding members of the Gun Club, and no one else was admitted into it. Even the local dignitaries and the members of the city government had to mingle with the crowd and try to catch word of what was taking place inside.

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Table of Contents


THE ARTILLERISTS
THE PRESIDENT'S COMMUNICATION
THE EFFECT
REPLY FROM THE CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON
WHICH LADY READERS ARE REQUESTED TO SKIP
THE MATERIAL OF THE BULLET
THE CANNON
THE POWDER
AN ENEMY!
FLORIDA OR TEXAS?
THE FINANCIAL QUESTION
STONY HILL
SPADE, SHOVEL, PICK AND TROWEL
THE CASTING
THE BIG GUN
BY THE ATLANTIC CABLE
WHO WAS HE?
ARDAN DEFINES HIS PLATFORM
A FENCING MATCH
WAR TO THE KNIFE!
POPULARITY IN AMERICA
AN IMPROVEMENT ON PULLMAN
THE GREAT TELESCOPE
CLOSING DETAILS
FIRE!
CLOUDY WEATHER
A NEW STAR
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Customer Reviews

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( 29 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Very good!

    I really liked this book. It was easy to read. I would recommend it for young adults who like science fiction or books about outer-space. Jules Verne is one of my favorite authors. I want to read the sequel soon.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    War Zone

    She smiles. He then changes into dragon form. She rumble in the laguage of the ancient and she breathes fire ice and water onro th young girl. The gir lights up d thn collapses. When she wakes up War smiles. "Now you have more strength and speed and all that. You can not sjift onto a dragon nor breathe fire or what not but you are morebexible on temps.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    A memberal classic!

    This is another eximpliary nvel by Venre. He has really outdone himself in this work of science fiction. In my opinion, it is one of the best books in his Amazing Voyages collection. It is also very short and can be read by the average adult in one to two days.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Zaydaez

    Am I alone?

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Must read classic

    When reading the book, I was surprised at how scientific it was. What great vision Verne must have had to create some of his calculations. It's a shame he never got to see the first moon landing, but he should proud of his foresite, and his contribution to the science fiction genre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Why people

    This ia book review not a poetry book. Youu should get off you spooky stork @#$%!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Dhfhfhfh

    Vvggvvcfcbxudbxvdgzctuhdddhdfhdhdfgffyvbhfhtfvhhfchyfcyyvvyyhfhfhhhfhbfhwbchhdncfdhejhcbcbfyfefhcyrrbryfyffhrfcfjrbchtufbghrurnc dygbcjfurgbckrurbcnuehrbc bcirirvc xkubfnfrjrhfjfufhhfhhhhjffbrfhhgghhjeebdfhfgghhyyyggvchfhfffhfhfhfhfhffddvvgggxydhfcgejhdsfyh dwrfsgghfhffhgffhubvfrthgjbvhfuuhvbjhvhuggjhvfyjvtyjggyuhggtyuugftyuhggycryjgftyyyyyyyuyyhhjyfvgikljkjuujhjj

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I read this book a long, long time ago but it was great fun to read it again and refresh my memory and it is amazing how accurate some of his predictions were about a trip to the moon over 100 years before it actually happened.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Too Technical, not good storytelling!

    Jules Verne is not one of my favorite authors, although I've also read "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and Journey to the Center of the Earth". Verne writes like a scientist, which can be interesting at times, but in doing so, he, in my opinion, does so with little story-telling skill. I enjoy reading H. G. Wells more. Wells' stories may a be more simplistic, but ultimately more readable. Also, I think the title "From the Earth to the Moon" is very misleading. The actual "journey" is only about 5 pages long and is at the end of the story. All the rest is about the formation of the idea of going to the moon and the building of the spacecraft.

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    Posted May 20, 2009

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    Posted August 1, 2010

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    Posted August 29, 2014

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    Posted March 31, 2010

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