On a small island in the middle of the Rhone within the town of Geneva, the clockmaker Master Zacharius lives with his daughter Gerande, his apprentice Aubert Thun, and his elderly servant Scholastique. Zacharius is celebrated throughout France and Germany for having invented the escapement, and is fiercely proud of his successes. When the story opens, he is troubled by an inexplicable mystery: for several days, all of the many clocks he has made and sold have begun to suddenly stop, one by one. Unable to fix any of them or to find a reason for the phenomenon, Zacharius falls into mental torment and becomes seriously ill.
Gerande and Aubert, who have gradually fallen in love with one another, manage to nurse Zacharius into better health, but are surprised by the appearance of a stranger in the town, a bizarre creature like a cross between a small old man and an anthropomorphic clock. The creature confronts Zacharius directly, taunting him about the failed clocks and suggesting that death is coming to him, but Zacharius rebukes him with "a flush of outraged pride": "I, Master Zacharius, cannot die, for, as I have regulated time, time would end with me! ... No, I can no more die than the Creator of this universe, that submitted to His laws! I have become His equal, and I have partaken of His power! If God has created eternity, Master Zacharius has created time!" The creature offers to give Zacharius the secret of the clocks' failure in exchange for the hand of Gerande in marriage. Zacharius refuses, and the creature disappears.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.10(d)|
About the Author
Widely regarded as the father of modern science fiction, Jules Verne (1828-1905) wrote more than seventy books and created hundreds of memorable characters. His most popular novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, is not only a brilliant piece of scientific prophecy, but also a thrilling story with superb, subtle characterizations.
Date of Birth:February 8, 1828
Date of Death:March 24, 1905
Place of Birth:Nantes, France
Place of Death:Amiens, France
Education:Nantes lycée and law studies in Paris