Cover from UK Edition
|Original title||Clovis Dardentor|
|Series||The Extraordinary Voyages #43|
Published in English
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Preceded by||Facing the Flag|
|Followed by||An Antarctic Mystery|
Clovis Dardentor is an 1896 fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne, written partly as a travel narrative. Compared to other Verne novels, it is a relatively unknown work.
Very common throughout Clovis Dardentor is Verne's usage of a comedic, slightly burlesque tone in the narration and in the characters' dialogues (something which the narrator confirms at a certain point of the novel).
The original illustrations were drawn by designer Léon Benett.
The novel tells the story of two cousins, Jean Taconnat and Marcel Lornans, travelling from Cette, France to Oran, Algeria, with the purpose of enlisting in the 5th regiment of the Chasseurs D'Afrique.
On board the Argelès, the ship to Oran, they meet Clovis Dardentor, a wealthy industrialist, who is the central character of the novel. Jean and Marcel, whose desire to travel to Africa arises from their pursuit of financial independence, find out that Clovis —an unmarried man, with no family— has left no heirs to his fortune.
Yet Marcel, well-versed in the Law, knows that any person who were to save Clovis' life either from a fight, from drowning, or from a fire, would forcibly have to be adopted by Clovis. The cousins come to a plan: They will find a way to save Clovis' life, so that he will indeed be legally required to adopt them.
Ironically, it is Clovis who finally saves the cousins' lives: Marcel is saved from a fire, and Jean is saved from drowning.
Eventually, while Jean continues to look for the opportunity to save Clovis' life, Marcel falls in love with Louise Elissane, the prospective daughter-in-law of one of Clovis' acquaintances, the unpleasant Desirandelle family. Louise becomes a key character in the novel, for it is she who saves Clovis Dardentor's life.
Fortunately for the cousins, in the end, Louise is adopted by Clovis, and marries Marcel.
Clovis Dardentor was first published in France in 1896 and in 1897 the first British edition, fully illustrated, was published by Sampson Low, Marston, and Company. The book was not published in the U.S. until 2008  when the Choptank Press of St Michaels, Maryland re-published the Sampson Low version in a fully illustrated replica edition as a Lulu Press book.
Three British film-makers are currently in the development stages of Killing Clovis Dardentor, an adaptation of the book, funding it through the site [www.buyacredit.com]. Writer Lizzie Hopley has written the screenplay for the movie.
- Verne, Jules (2008). Clovis Dardentor. St. Michaels, MD: Choptank Press. p. 320.
- Pidd, Helen (April 14, 2009). "Teenagers' credit note approach to fund £1m film of Clovis Dardentor". The Guardian. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
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