Two Years' Vacation

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Two Years' Vacation
'Two Years' Vacation' by Léon Benett 01.jpg
Author Jules Verne
Original title Deux ans de vacances
Illustrator Léon Benett
Country France
Language French
Series The Extraordinary Voyages #32
Genre Adventure novel
Publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel
Publication date
1888
Published in English
1889
Media type Print (Hardback)
ISBN N/A
Preceded by The Flight to France
Followed by Family Without a Name

Two Years' Vacation (French: Deux ans de vacances) is an adventure novel by Jules Verne, published in 1888. The story tells of the fortunes of a group of schoolboys stranded on a deserted island in the South Pacific, and of their struggles to overcome adversity. In his preface to the book, Verne explains that his goals were to create a Robinson Crusoe-like environment for children, and to show the world what the intelligence and bravery of a child was capable of when put to the test.

Publication[edit]

As with most of Verne's works, it was serialised (in twenty-four parts between January and December 1888) in the "Extraordinary Journeys" section of the French Magasin d’Éducation et de Récréation by Parisian publisher Hetzel. It was also published in book form in two volumes in June and early November of that year. An illustrated double volume with a colour map and a preface by Verne was released in late November.

Translations and adaptations[edit]

  • An English translation of the book was serialised in 36 installments in the Boy's Own Paper between 1888 and 1889.
  • In 1889 a two-volume English-language book titled A Two Year's Vacation was published by Munro in the United States. Later the same year, a single-volume abridged edition in the United Kingdom was released by Sampson Low under the title of Adrift in the Pacific.
  • In 1890, from February 22 through March 14, the Boston Daily Globe newspaper serialized Adrift in the Pacific; the Strange Adventures of a Schoolboy Crew.
  • In 1965 the I. O. Evens version of the Sampson Low translation was published in England (ARCO) and the U.S. (Associated Publishers) in two volumes: Adrift in the Pacific and Second Year Ashore.
  • In 1967 a new modified and abridged translation by Olga Marx with illustrations by Victor Ambrus titled A Long Vacation was published by Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom and Holt, Rinehart & Winston in the United States.
  • In 1974 a four-part T.V. serie was made, a cooperation of French, Belgian, Swiss, West-German and Rumanian television.[2]
  • In 1982 a Japanese studio Toei Animation under the title of Adrift in the Pacific (Japanese: 十五少年漂流記).
  • In 1987 a made-for-TV animation was produced by the Japanese studio Nippon Animation under the title of The Story of Fifteen Boys (Japanese: 十五少年漂流記).

Plot summary[edit]

Map of "Chairman Island"

The story starts with a group of schoolboys aged between eight and fourteen on board a schooner moored at Auckland, New Zealand, and preparing to set off on a six-week vacation. With the exception of the oldest boy Gordon, an American, and Briant and Jack, two French brothers, all the boys are British.

While the schooner's crew are ashore, the moorings are cast off under unknown circumstances and the ship drifts to sea, where it is caught by a storm. Twenty-two days later, the boys find themselves cast upon the shore of an uncharted island, which they name "Chairman Island." They go on many adventures and even catch wild animals while trying to survive. They remain there for the next two years until a passing ship sinks in the close vicinity of the island. The ship had been taken over by mutineers, intent on trafficking slaves. With the aid of two of the surviving members of the original crew, the boys are able to defeat the mutineers and make their escape from the island, which they find out is close to the Chilean coast (Hanover-Island located at 50°56’ S, 74°47’ W).

The struggles for survival and dominance amongst the boys were to be echoed in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, written some 66 years later.

In popular culture[edit]

Deux ans de vacances is the first book Shiori Shiomiya reads from the shelves of the school library during a flashback to her childhood in the anime The World God Only Knows.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]