Translate Our Site

Jules Verne, Polar Prophet

A Fascinating Lecture about the Famous Author's Views of the North Pole


This event has already happened.
Jul 11, 2017
07:00 PM - 08:30 PM


Balloon Museum
9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113


In honor of the 120th Anniversary of the Bold Flight of S.A. Andrée!

When the bold flight of S.A. Andrée began on July 11, 1897, no one had yet reached the North Pole. There had been other attempts, all unsuccessful, but this expedition intended to fly there by balloon from Danes Island, an icy outpost at nearly the top of the world.

What has Jules Verne to do with Andrée? When Andrée made plans to reach the North Pole by balloon, he wasn’t just inspired by Verne's novels of aeronautics and polar exploration, he was contributing to the climactic drama of polar exploration, just as Verne himself did in his final polar novel.

In a colorful lecture, Frederick Paul Walter, one of America’s leading Verne scholars, will trace this author’s many imaginary journeys to both the Arctic and Antarctic: 

  • How the novelist’s 1865 thriller, The Adventures of Captain Hatteras, inspired two early claimants to the North Pole, Cook and Peary, and how the former has been accused of plagiarizing his logs from Verne’s novel!
  • How later novels such as The Fur Country, The Meteor Hunt, and The Sphinx of the Ice Realm painted fictional pictures of places no man had seen!
  • How well (or not) real-life exploration was proceeding when Verne first wrote of the poles in 1855, and the progress that had been made by the author’s death in 1905.
  • How well (or not) Verne’s prophetic descriptions of the poles stack up against reality. In other words, how good a prophet was he, really?

Based in Albuquerque since 2004, Frederick Paul Walter is the acclaimed translator of Verne’s first bestseller, Five Weeks in a Balloon, and two of his polar novels, The Sphinx of the Ice Realm and The Meteor Hunt. Walter is past vice president of the North American Jules Verne Society, and major academic publishers have also issued his translations of five other Verne novels.

This lecture is free, no reservations required. The Balloon Museum will be open on July 11 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (free admission after 5 p.m.) for guests to visit our exhibitions, including Arctic Air: The Bold Flight of S.A. Andrée.





Amanda Lujan