Here are the results of the first Jules Verne rare entries contest.
These are the answers given by the top 4 entrants:
|Alain Braut||Joshua Kreitzer||Clavelina||Bernhard Krauth|
|2||De la Terre à la Lune||Le Tour du monde en 80 jours||De la Terre à la Lune||Le Tour du monde en 80 jours|
|3||Mathieu Strux||Marfa Strogoff||Michel Strogoff||Mathieu Strux|
|7||Harris T. Kymbale||Gédéon Spilett||Francis Benett||Harris T. Kymbale|
|9||Ursula Andress||Ursula Andress||James Mason||James Mason|
Here are the answers given to each question, ranked from most to least popular, i.e. worst to best, for each question:
0. Give the name of a dog who, in a Voyage extraordinaire, has travelled on a ship.
- 2 Dingo (Un Capitaine de 15 Ans)
- 2 Duk (Voyages et Aventures du Capitaine Hatteras)
- 2 Phann (Deux ans de vacances)
- 2 Top (L’Île mystérieuse)
- 1 Satellite (De la Terre à la Lune; he must have gotten to Tampa by boat)
Answers to this question were spread quite evenly. There are a few dogs who took ship but weren’t mentioned: Diana from De la Terre à la Lune and Autour de la Lune; Artimon from L’Agence Thompson & Co; and the dogs in Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais. These two are never mentioned by name however, so they couldn’t be given as an answer.
1. Name a character that is mentioned in at least three works by Jules Verne.
- 4 Nemo (Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mers; L’Île mystérieuse; Le Sphinx des glaces; Voyage à travers l’impossible)
- 2 J.-T. Maston (De la Terre à la Lune; Autour de la Lune; Sans dessus dessous)
- 1 Ayrton (Les Enfants du capitaine Grant; L’Ile mystérieuse; Les Enfants du capitaine Grant (the play))
- 1 Michel Ardan (De la Terre à la Lune; Autour de la Lune; Sans dessus dessous; Voyage à travers l’impossible)
- 1 Nicholl (De la Terre à la Lune; Autour de la Lune; Sans dessus dessous)
The answers given belong to two categories: characters from the Gun-Club trilogy, and characters from the other ‘trilogy’ (Les Enfants du capitaine Grant; Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mers; L’Île mystérieuse), who appear in a play as well.
One other correct answer would have been John Hatteras. This captain starred of course in the novel Voyages et aventures du Capitaine Hatteras, but he is also mentioned in the play Voyage à travers l’impossible, in which his son is the main character, and in Le Pays des fourrures, where lieutenant Hobson tells Paulina Barnet how one of the white foxes caught by John Ross in 1848 was later caught by Hatteras, during his voyage of discovery.
There may be other characters that appear in more than two works, but I can’t think of any more examples.
2. Name a work by Jules Verne that has been translated in at least 25 languages.
- 4 Le Tour du monde en 80 jours
- 2 De la Terre à la Lune
- 2 Voyage au centre de la Terre
- 1 Les Enfants du capitaine Grant
There are probably many more correct answers to this question, but the entrants apparently wanted to play safe. It is remarkable that Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mers wasn’t mentioned.
3. Name a character from a work by Jules Verne whose initials are M.S.
- 3 Marfa Strogoff (Michel Strogoff)
- 3 Mathieu Strux (Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais)
- 2 Mathias Sandorf (Mathias Sandorf)
- 1 Michel Strogoff (Michel Strogoff)
The obvious choices here were Michel Strogoff and Mathias Sandorf, which people tended to avoid. All possible answers that I can think of were given.
4. Excluding France, name a country that Jules Verne visited at least twice.
- 2 Denmark (1861; 1881)
- 2 Netherlands (1881; 1887)
- 2 Scotland (1859; 1879; 1880)
- 1 Algeria (1878; 1884)
- 1 England (1859; 1867; 1879; 1881; several other short visits)
- 1 Portugal (1878; 1884)
Strictly speaking, Scotland and England are not independent countries, but rather parts of the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, I will accept these answers.
5. Name a type of transport used by Phileas Fogg in the novel Le tour du monde en 80 jours.
- 3 Sledge [= Land-yacht; Sledge with sails] (Chapter XXXI)
- 2 Elephant (Chapter XI–XIV)
- 1 Cab (Chapter IV, XXXVII)
- 1 Palki-ghari (Chapter XV)
- 1 Steamboat
- 1 Yacht
Most entrants opted for the less common means of transport, such as the sledge and the elephant. Nobody mentioned the good old train. A palki-ghari is a type of Indian coach, in which Fogg was taken to the jail. Although no ship in the novel is explicitly mentioned as a yacht, the last chapter of the book states that “he had employed every means of conveyance—steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, elephants”, so I’ll accept the answer.
6. Name a river, seen by a character in a Voyage extraordinaire, that is at least 3500 km long.
- 3 Amazon (La Jangada; 6,437 km)
- 2 Nile (Cinq Semaines en ballon; 6,738 km)
- 2 Volga (Michel Strogoff; 3,690 km)
- 1 Congo (Zaire) (Un Capitaine de quinze ans; 4,371 km)
- 1 Irtysh (Michel Strogoff; 4,284 km)
Other correct answers include Mississippi (Le Testament d’un excentrique; 3,779 km), Niger (L’Etonnante aventure de la Mission Barsac; 4,184 km), Yangtze (Les Tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine; 5,526 km) and Yenisei (Michel Strogoff; 4,130 km)
7. Name a character from a work by Jules Verne who is a professional journalist.
- 3 Gédéon Spilett (L’Île mystérieuse)
- 2 Francis Benett (La Journée d’un journaliste américain en 2890)
- 2 Harris T. Kymbale (Le Testament d’un excentrique)
- 1 Harry Blount (Michel Strogoff)
- 1 Amédée Florence (L’Etonnante aventure de la Mission Barsac; work by Michel Verne)
Spilett was only marginally more popular than his less well-known colleague Kymbale. The reporters Alcide Jolivet and Claudius Bombarnac were not mentioned.
8. Name a meteorological phenomenon that causes danger to a character in a Voyage extraordinaire. Meteorological is here used in its modern sense (dealing with the phenomena of the atmosphere, especially weather and weather conditions).
- 3 Thunderstorm [= Lightning storm] (For example Les Frères Kip, end of vol. 1)
- 2 Lightning (For example in Sans dessus dessous, when J.-T. Maston is talking on the telephone)
- 1 Ball lightning (Voyage au centre de la Terre, chapter 35)
- 1 Hurricane (For example Cinq Semaines en ballon, chapter 34)
- 1 Flood (Not a meteorological phenomenon)
- 1 Vulcanic eruption (Not a meteorological phenomenon)
The entrant who said “ball lightning” originally answered Saint Elmo’s fire, but from his description it was clear that he meant in fact ball lightning. Saint Elmo’s fire is the glowing of the air by a continuous discharge, caused by strong electric fields; a ball lightning is a (usually) spherical, light-emitting ball, ranging in size from a few centimetres to a few metres, that hovers in the air for a few seconds up to several minutes. In Jules Verne’s time the existence of ball lightnings was still very controversial, and even today their exact nature is not fully understood. It is not clear if ball lightnings and Saint Elmo’s fires are somehow connected. I decided not to score ball lightning as a more specific variant of lightning, because it is not clear if it really is lightning.
9. Name an actor or actress who starred in at least two movies mentioning Jules Verne in the writing credits.
- 3 James Mason (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1959; 20000 Leagues under the Sea, 1954)
- 2 Ursula Andress (Les Tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine, 1965; The Southern Star, 1969)
- 1 Alan Caillou (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1959; Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1962)
- 1 Cestmír Randa (Na Komete, 1970; Tajemství Ocelového Mesta, 1979)
- 1 Peter Lorre (20000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1954; Around the World in Eighty Days, 1956; Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1962)
- 1 Raimund Harmstorf (Only starred in the mini series “Michel Strogoff” (1975))
It is not surprising that the famous stars Mason and Andress were mentioned most. There are probably a lot more correct answers. One actor who starred in two more recent Verne films is Bryan Brown (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1999; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1997).