Journey to the Center of the Earth (French: Voyage au centre de la Terre; also published in English as A Journey to the Center of the Earth, A Journey into the Interior of the Earth and A Trip to the Center of the Earth) is a science fiction adventure novel by the French author Jules Verne. It was first published in France in 1864. The first of several English translations was published in 1871.
The main characters in the novel are Axel, a young German, and his uncle Professor Lidenbrock, a professor of geology at Hamburg University who also prides himself on his ability to speak and read several languages. The two men discover a piece of parchment which carries a coded message. The message tells them that it is possible to descend to the center of the Earth from one of the three craters on an Icelandic volcano. Axel and the professor travel to Iceland. They hire a local guide, Hans Bjelke, who leads them to the volcano and then accompanies them on their journey deep underground.
A popular 1871 translation changes Professor Lidenbrock's name to Professor Hardwigg and Axel's name to Henry Lawson.
The novel has been adapted to other media multiple times.
The novel begins in Hamburg, in the home that Axel and his uncle Professor Otto Lidenbrock share, on Sunday May 24, 1863. Professor Lidenbrock excitedly returns home with an antique edition of an ancient Icelandic saga. A piece of parchment falls out of the book which the professor notices bears the name, in runes, of Arne Saknussemm, a medieval Icelandic alchemist. The professor is unable to understand the rest of the message written in runic characters and realizes that it must be in code. He orders that the doors of his house be locked and that he, Axel and their maid Martha go without food until the message has been deciphered. Axel eventually cracks the code and discovers it is a message in bad Latin which says that it is possible to travel to the center of the Earth from one of the three craters on a volcano in Iceland. The precise crater is indicated by the shadow cast by a nearby mountain peak but only during the last days of June. Axel initially keeps the information secret, fearing what his uncle would do if he learnt what the message said. After two more days of going without food, Axel's hunger forces him to reveal the secret.
Professor Lidenbrock immediately leaves for iceland, taking a reluctant Axel along with him. Axel does not consider himself to be the heroic or adventurous type and he wants to stay in Hamburg with Grauben, his sweetheart and Professor Lidenbrock's goddaughter. On the voyage to Iceland, Axel tries to convince his uncle of the scientific impossibility of traveling to the center of the Earth but to no avail. On arrival in Iceland the two men hire Hans Bjelke to guide them to the volcano.
The three men arrive at the volcano shortly before the end of June but the weather is cloudy and no shadow is cast. Axel hopes that the professor will be forced to abandon his plans and return home. However, on the last day of June, the sun comes out, the crater is revealed and the three men descend.
The three travelers follow a path which Arne Saknussemm had indicated by carving his initials in runes on the cave wall. They take a wrong turn and run out of water. Axel nearly dies of thirst but Hans discovers an underground river. The professor names it "Hansbach" in his honor.
Following the course of Hansbach, the three reach an enormous cavern, lit by electrically charged gas and containing giant mushrooms, petrified trees and an ocean. The three men build a raft from petrified trees and set sail on the ocean, which the professor names the "Lidenbrock Sea". During the sea journey, they see several prehistoric animals and witness a fight between a Plesiosaurus and an Icthyosaurus. A storm throws the travelers on to an island dominated by a huge geyser. The professor names it "Axel's Island".
Several strange plants and prehistoric animals are found on the island, as well as a beach littered with bones. Amongst the bones, Axel and the professor find a large human skull. Professor Lidenbrock and Axel explore a forest on the island where they see a twelve-foot tall man, taller than the herd of mastodons which he is watching over. Axel and the professor conceal their presence from the man, fearing that he might be dangerous.
After further exploration, the travelers find a passageway that Arne Saknussemm indicated as the way ahead. However, there was a cave in after Saknussemm's time and the passageway became blocked by a granite wall. The three men decide to blow up the wall, going out to sea on their raft to be out of the way when the explosion happens. However, the granite wall blocked the entrance to an apparently bottomless pit. The sea water rushes into the hole that has been opened up and carries the raft and the three travelers with it.
The three men find themselves inside a volcano which fills up with water and magma and they are expelled from a side vent. From the landscape, they see that they are no longer in Iceland. They notice a boy, Professor Lidenbrock attempts to speak to him in several different languages but he does not respond. Eventually, the boy tells them that they are on the Italian island of Stromboli.
The travelers return to Hamburg, Axel marries Grauben, Professor Lidenbrock is acclaimed as one of the greatest scientists of all time, although he regrets that his journey to the center of the Earth was cut short. Hans dislikes the attention and is happy to return to his quiet life in Iceland.
Jules Verne's novel was adapted as the 1959 American film Journey to the Center of the Earth. Whereas the novel's action begins in Hamburg, Germany, the film's action begins in Edinburgh, Scotland. The novel's Professor Otto Lindenbrook becomes Sir Oliver Lindenbrook (played by British actor James Mason), a professor at the University of Edinburgh, and his nephew Axel becomes student Alec McEwan (played by American actor and pop singer Pat Boone). They are joined on their journey by Hans (played by Icelandic born actor and athlete Peter Ronson) and Carla Göteborg (played by American actress Arlene Dahl). Carla is the widow of a Scandinavian professor who was also planning to journey to the center of the Earth before he was murdered. She provides Lindenbrook with the equipment and supplies that her husband was going to take on his expedition on the condition that she is allowed to join Lindenbrook on his journey. Lindenrook and his team are secretly followed part of the way on their journey by the villainous Count Saknussemm (played by American actor Thayer David) and his henchman. Count Saknussemm is Professor Göteborg's murderer. As a descendant of Arne Saknussemm, he believes that only he has the right to travel to the center of the Earth and tries to sabotage Lindenbrook's expedition.
The novel was adapted again as the 1978 Spanish film Viaje al centro de la tierra. The film was distributed to movie theaters in the United States as Where Time Began annd shown on British television as The Fabulous Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It stars British actor Kenneth More as Professor Lindenbrook and Spanish actor and former professional soccer player Pep Munné as Axel.
The 1980 American film Alien from L.A. and its 1989 sequel Journey to the Center of the Earth, both starring actress and former supermodel Kathy Ireland as Wanda Saknussemm, are both loose adaptations of Verne's novel.
The 2008 Hollywood film Journey to the Center of the Earth, starring Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson and Icelandic actress Anita Brenn, is a sequel to the original story set in the present-day in which Jules Verne's novel is a factual account of a subterranean journey.
Another American film called Journey to the Center of the Earth was also released in 2088. Produced by The Asylum, an independent production company that specializes in low-budget "mockbusters" that are intended to capitalize on the promotion of similar, bigger budget films that are released at the same time, it was released direct-to-video at the same time that the film starring Brendan Fraser was showing in theaters. It stars Greg Evigan, Dedee Pfeiffer and Vanessa Lee Evigan. Although credited as an adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, it was also heavily influenced by At the Earth's Core, a 1914 fantasy novel by the American author Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Three live-action dramas called Journey to the Center of the Earth have been made for American television each of them is a very loose adaptation of Jules Verne's novel. A TV movie called Journey to the Center of the Earth first aired on NBC on February 28, 1993. It features performances by John Neville, F. Murray Abraham and Kim Miyon. The two-episode mini-series Journey to the Center of the Earth first aired on the USA Network on September 14 and September 15, 1999. It stars Treat Willias, Jeremy London, Bryan Brown and Tushika Bergen. A TV movie called Journey to the Center of the Earth, a Canadian-American co-production filmed in Vancouver, first aired on The Hallmark Channel on February 4, 2008. It stars Rick Schneider, Victoria Pratt and Peter Fonda.
A 17-episode American animated TV series called Journey to the Center of the Earth originally aired on ABC between September 9, 1967 and September 6, 1969. It features the voices of Ted Knight, Pat Harrington, Jr and Jane Web Edwards. It is based on the 1959 film Journey to the Center of the Earth rather than on Jules Verne's novel. The main characters in the series are Professor Oliver Lindenbrook, his student Alec McEwan, the professor's niece Cindy, their Icelandic guide Hans and his pet duck Gertrude. As in the 1959 film, the intrepid travelers are secretly followed part of the way on their underground journey by the villainous Count Saknussemm.
The twenty-fourth episode of the Australian-American animated TV series Famous Classic Tales is an adaptation of Journey to the Center of the Earth. It first aired on CBS in the United States on November 13, 1977.
The first thirteen episodes of the 26-episode Spanish-Taiwanese animated TV series Willy Fog 2. The remaining thirteen episodes are based on Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The series, in which all of the characters are anthropomorphic animals, originally aired on TVE 1 n Spain between January 18, 1993 and July 18, 1994. It is a sequel to the 1983 Spanish-Japanese animated TV series Around the World with Willy Fog, which is itself an adaptation of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.
The episode "Hot Diggity Dawg" of the American live--action children's TV series Wishbone is an adaptation of Journey to the Center of the Earth and features the series' canine title character as Professor Lindenbrook. The episode first aired on PBS on November 1, 1996.
Journey to the Center of the Earth has been adapted fir British radio numerous times. The novel was adapted as a 7-part series starring Trevor Martin and Nigel Anthony that was first broadcast on the BBC Home Service in 1962. It was adapted as an 8-part series starring Bernard Horsfall and Jeffrey Banks that was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 i 1963. A 80-minute drama based on the novel first aired on BBC Radio 4 on December 29 1995. It stars Nicholas le Prevost as Otto Lindenbrook, Nathaniel Parker as Axel, Oliver Sentom as Hans and Kristen Mellwood as Rosemary McNab, a woman who funds the expedition and accompanies the explorers. A two-part mini-series based on the novel first aired on BBC Radio 4 on March 19 and March 26, 2017. It stars Stephen Crichtlow as Professor Lindenbrook and Joel MacCormack as Axel.
Am American radio drama based on the novel first aired on NPR on August 15, 2000 as an episode of the series Radio Tales.
Jules Verne's novel was adapted by the British musician Rick Wakeman as the 40-minute concept album Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The album was released on May 3, 1974. It is a recording of a concert that was held at the Royal Festival Hall in London on January 2, 1974. In addition to Wakeman on a variety of keyboards and his band, the album also features performances by the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir. Narration is provided by the British actor David Hemmings. The record reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in the United States. The album was generally well received by music critics. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. In September 1974, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling 500,000 copies. By 2009, it had sold 14 million copies worldwide. To mark the 25th anniversary of the album's release in 1999, Wakeman recorded a sequel called Return to the Centre of the Earth. In 2012, a new 54-minute recording of Wakeman's Journey to the Centre of the Earth was released that features narration by British actor Peter Egan.
- Sound files of public domain French-language audiobook of the novel: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, Chapter 24, Chapter 25, Chapter 26, Chapter 27, Chapter 28, Chapter 29, Chapter 30, Chapter 31 Chapter 32, Chapter 33, Chapter 34, Chapter 35, Chapter 36, Chapter 37, Chapter 38, Chapter 39, Chapter 40, Chapter 41, Chapter 42, Chapter 43, Chapter 44, Chapter 45