20,000 Leagues Under the Seas

A World Tour Underwater

By Jules Verne
Translated by Frederick Paul Walter

Subjects: Fiction
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438446646, 419 pages, May 2013
Hardcover : 9781438446639, 419 pages, May 2013

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Table of contents

Translator’s Preface
Part I

1. A Runaway Reef
2. The Pros and Cons
3. As Master Wishes
4. Ned Land
5. At Random
6. At Full Steam
7. A Whale of Unknown Species
8. Mobilis in Mobil
9. Ned Land’s Temper
10. The Man of the Waters
11. The Nautilus
12. E ntirely by Electricity
13. A Few Figures
14. The Black Tide
15. An Invitation in Writing
16. Strolling the Plains
17. An Underwater Forest
18. 4,000 Leagues Under the Pacific
19. Vanikoro
20. Torres Strait
21. A Few Days Ashore
22. Captain Nemo’s Lightning Bolts
23. Ӕgri Somnia
24. The Coral Realm
Part II

25. The Indian Ocean
26. A New Proposition from Captain Nemo
27. A Pearl Worth $2,000,000
28. The Red Sea
29. Arabian Tunnel
30. The Greek Isles
31. The Mediterranean in Forty-Eight Hours
32. Vigo Bay
33. A Lost Continent
34. The Underwater Coalfields
35. The Sargasso Sea
36. Sperm Whales and Right Whales
37. The Ice Barrier
38. The South Pole
39. Accident or Incident?
40. Shortage of Air
41. From Cape Horn to the Amazon
42. The Devilfish
43. The Gulf Stream
44. In Latitude 47° 24' and Longitude 17° 28'
45. A Mass Execution
46. Captain Nemo’s Last Words
47. Conclusion
Textual Notes
Recommended Reading

The deep-sea exploits of secretive Captain Nemo, embarking on the world's first global vendetta.


When an unidentified "monster" threatens international shipping, French oceanographer Pierre Aronnax and his unflappable assistant Conseil join an expedition organized by the US Navy to hunt down and destroy the menace. After months of fruitless searching, they finally grapple with their quarry, but Aronnax, Conseil, and the brash Canadian harpooner Ned Land are thrown overboard in the attack, only to find that the "monster" is actually a futuristic submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by a shadowy, mystical, preternaturally imposing man who calls himself Captain Nemo. Thus begins a journey of 20,000 leagues—nearly 50,000 miles—that will take Captain Nemo, his crew, and these three adventurers on a journey of discovery through undersea forests, coral graveyards, miles-deep trenches, and even the sunken ruins of Atlantis. Jules Verne's novel of undersea exploration has been captivating readers ever since its first publication in 1870, and Frederick Paul Walter's reader-friendly, scientifically meticulous translation of this visionary science fiction classic is complete and unabridged down to the smallest substantive detail.

Jules Verne was born in 1828 into a French lawyering family in the Atlantic coastal city of Nantes. Though his father sent him off to a Paris law school, young Jules had been writing on the side since his early teens, and his pet topics were the theater, travel, and science. Predictably enough, his legal studies led nowhere, so Verne took a day job with a stock brokerage, in his off-hours penning scripts for farces and musical comedies while also publishing short stories and novelettes of scientific exploration and adventure.

His big breakthrough came when he combined his theatrical knack with his scientific bent and in 1863 published an African adventure yarn, Five Weeks in a Balloon. After that and until his death in 1905, Jules Verne was one of the planet's best-loved and best-selling novelists, publishing more than sixty books. Other imaginative favorites by him include The Mysterious Island, Hector Servadac, The Begum's Millions, Master of the World, and The Meteor Hunt. Verne ranks among the five most translated authors in history, along with Mark Twain and the Bible. Frederick Paul Walter is a scriptwriter, broadcaster, librarian, and amateur paleontologist. A long-standing member of the North American Jules Verne Society, he served as its vice president from 2000 to 2008. Walter has produced many media programs, articles, reviews, and papers on aspects of Jules Verne and has translated many Verne novels, including Amazing Journeys: Five Visionary Classics and The Sphinx of the Ice Realm, both also published by SUNY Press. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.