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Five Weeks in a Balloon is not only the first installment in Jules Verne's celebrated Voyages Extraordinaires series, but also the first of Verne's works to earn him widespread popularity as a writer of science fiction and adventure novels.
Following his invention of an ingenious new air balloon capable of long-distance flight, Dr. Samuel Fergusson embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his trusted servant, Joe, and loyal friend, Dick Kennedy. As they make their way through air across the unexplored regions of Africa, they attempt to do what has never been done before: discover the source of the Nile. On the way, they must overcome extreme thirst, withstand assaults from hostile tribes, and stage a series of daring rescues and brilliant escapes. Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon is a classic novel of hope and determination that asks today's reader to take to the air, if only for a short time, in search of what must always defy belief.
Published in France in 1863, Five Weeks in a Balloon was translated for English-speaking audiences in 1869. This marked the beginning of an illustrious and lucrative career for Verne, whose works have inspired scientists, writers, and filmmakers for over a century. The novel is a curious mix of fantasy and reality, referencing the journeys of real-life adventurers while imagining an innovative and as-yet-unperfected form of exploration, the long-distance hot air balloon. While Five Weeks in a Balloon endures as an exciting and adventurous text, it also provides a unique perspective on the intersection of nineteenth-century science, literature, and the exploration and colonization of Africa.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this new edition of Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon is a classic novel reimagined for modern readers.