Talk:Journey to the Center of the Earth

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A group of explorers and scientists? I dunno. It makes it sound like a crowd, and I only remember it being three people who made the descent. ---


Besides the two on Project Gutenberg, are there any ways to track down the versions of the novel,, to help explain the renaming issues? The original version I read had the English names and was fairly heavily abridged (something along the lines of the one "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" on Project Gutenberg). The version I reread had the German characters and the fuller text, but with the "translator asides" (see "Interior of the Earth" version on PG). Are there many more, or are the other versions just edits of these? Wyrmis 18:02, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Lindenbrock vs. Hardwigg[edit]

There seems to be some confusion around the Web as to just what the names of the two main characters are. I personally recall them being named Professor Hardwigg and Harry, and am somewhat astonished to learn that now suddenly they're being called Professor Lindenbrock and Axel? I unfortunately lack a copy of the novel, so I cannot check to see which is correct. Could someone who owns the book check to see just what their names are? - Kooshmeister

I was just about to mention this problem myself. I don't own a copy, but I've read the book several times. Apparently, Otto Lindenbrock and Axel Lidenbrock were the original names that Verne used, and doubtlessly German names. I'm not sure exactly why in all the versions I've read that their names are Hardwigg and Harry; it may be that those are the American equivalents. Another problem I've noted is that instead of Snaefell, the mountain is called Sneffels. Could someone who knows please explain? Scorpionman 00:57, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I think it's simply some name/spelling changes done in some of the editions... as was also done for example in Verne's other novel The Mysterious Island and elsewhere. --Krickles 23:01, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
"Journey to the Centre of the Earth itself has been translated more than ten times, but many are very poor indeed. The best-known version is still the atrocious 1872 one, which rebaptizes Axel as Harry and Lidenbrock as Hardwigg, makes them both Scottish, and finishes each paragraph with at least one totally invented sentence."

(From the William Butcher translation.) Sjjb 13:08, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Spelling challenged[edit]

Isn't it ichthyosaur & mammoth? Trekphiler 17:43, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

1980 Watermill Classic - Complete and Unabridged[edit]

In a copy, which I stole from school, its actually is Von Hardwigg, Harry, Sneffels, AND Grethen (who is listed in the article as Graüben). But their still german ,though. I was just completely confused afterwards by that after reading this article. --Anonymous Jules Fan 8:16, 10 March 2006

The names he gave in the original French are German, and were changed slightly for the English translation. -- Chr.K. 00:24, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Chapter Summary[edit]

Where can I find a website that has a complete chapter summary? I tried Cliff's Notes, but they don't have one. -- 04:45, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

"Classic science-fiction novel..."[edit] the definition given in the article on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, but not for Journey. I am going to give them equal term, as both are world famous, and any science fiction he wrote is classic, to begin with. -- Chr.K. 00:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Requested move (2007)[edit]

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. --~~

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Journey to the Center of the EarthJourney to the Centre of the Earth — Jules Verne was French, so European spellings should apply as per WP:MOS (which clearly states that varieties of English should be used in accordance with the subject of the page EuroSong talk 19:19, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


Add  # '''Support'''  or  # '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~. Please remember that this survey is not a vote, and please provide an explanation for your recommendation.

Survey - in support of the move[edit]

  1. Support - Nominator. EuroSong talk 19:19, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Support - centre is also the original French spelling. -- Beardo 04:19, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. Weak support - but, at the risk of sounding rude, there's more important stuff to worry about than quibling about -re vs. -er on Wikipedia (e.g., Darfur crisis). It's not like the Americans will have finally won in their grand imperialist objective (and see the British shamed) if an online enyclopedia uses an alternate spelling for one book. Patstuarttalk|edits 09:34, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  4. Support Try this on for size: The French translation of "centre" or in the corrupted sense "center" translates to "centre". I find that justifiable enough.Parable1991 04:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Survey - in opposition to the move[edit]

  1. There are sillier positions than claiming that the title of a French novel written in 1864, long before the EU, must be in British English; this is Wikipedia, after all, the home of silly positions. But I'll go with the other statement from WP:ENGVAR:"Stay with established spelling. If an article has been in a given dialect for a long time, and there is no clear reason to change it, leave it alone." The name of the Dallas production should probably be amended. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:05, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Oppose - the last thing we need is more rules on what dialect to use. And surely not silly ones like this. --Yath 02:21, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. Oppose - note the spellings in Joan of Arc, who was also French, and this discussion on Joan of Arc's talk page. If Mr. Verne were English, I'd support the move; but since he was French, no variety of English is preferred. --Akhilleus (talk) 06:12, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per the Use Original Spelling solution. (Can someone start an essay on that?) 04:32, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. There's no reason to change the translated title of a French book to the UK spelling other than that the UK is geographically closer to France. Strad 05:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
So what on Earth is the justification for spelling it in American??? EuroSong talk 07:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Because the first major edition of the article just happened to use that spelling. It's essentially random. And now, since there is no preference for one or the other, we just don't change it. The net effect of changing it would be to fuel a culture war, since it would appear to promote British English above American English. That would be bad, because in fact, neither language is actually more correct. --Yath 13:58, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
There's no justification for spelling it either way. But we have to pick one, and the policy in this case is to look to the choice of the first major contributor. Strad 14:21, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I just created Category:Sports websites, only to find that Category:Sport websites already existed. Naturally, it was well populated with British websites, as Americans/Canadians didn't even bother to look under that title. It just sort of happens this way. Part Deux 07:54, 30 January 2007 (UTC)


Add any additional comments:

Further to my nomination, I can clarify the relevant policy: WP:ENGVAR states: "If there is a strong tie to a specific region/dialect, use that dialect." - and the separate page Wikipedia:Manual of Style (national varieties of English) clarifies this with several examples. Jules Verne was French = European. Therefore European/British English should be used. The word is "Centre" - as can even be seen on the book cover used as an illustration for the article! It's ludicrous to spell it the American way - just as it would be ludicrous to use British spellings in an article about Abraham Lincoln. EuroSong talk 19:25, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Fair use rationale for Image:JulesVerne AJounreyToTheCentreOfTheEarth.jpg[edit]

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Image:JulesVerne AJounreyToTheCentreOfTheEarth.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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compared to his previous works[edit]

There is no support for this sentence. Since Verne only had one published work before Journey to the Center of the Earth I'd say there's not much support for him taking a "radically different approach to storytelling..." Recommend deleting this sentence.

"Compared to his previous works, Verne takes a radically different approach to storytelling by making the main character and narrator a 19-year-old boy who relates the events as his own adventures."

I agree. Do it. - Tenmiles 05:10, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Confusing wording[edit]

The last line of the second paragraph is "It is unknown whether this was done under the influence of his publisher Hetzel who wanted to distribute Verne's work as aimed towards shrinking teens." As I doubt that the book was aimed at teens who were getting smaller, I presume that this means it was aimed at a shrinking teen market. However, I would prefer not to change it until I can say whether or not it was a shrinking teen market for Verne's books, or for books in general, as otherwise it is unnecessarily vague. Does anybody know? Filksinger 15:42, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

"passing the center"[edit]

I am very puzzled by the last line of the plot summary, that "that they had indeed passed the very center of the Earth." The geometric center of the earth is roughly 4000 miles straight down, and the characters come nowhere near it. What other center could the article be talking about? From what I remember of the novel, the reversed-compass discussion just clears up the mystery about why the characters got lost, and mentioned nothing about "passing the center", whatever that means. CharlesTheBold 04:51, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I just read the Malleson translation and there's nothing indicating that they pass the center. Astompa 09:00, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

This is not part of the novel but is part of the 1959 movie. Naaman Brown (talk) 19:31, 4 August 2009 (UTC) Added: since the deepest point reached in the novel was the cavernous ocean about 200 miles 87 miles beneath the surface, perhaps the entry should be renamed by the more accurate alternate title A Journey to the Interior of the Earth and we can avoid the teapot tempest over Center vs Centre. Naaman Brown (talk) 17:15, 18 August 2009 (UTC) 87 miles in William Butcher's Oxford translation 1992. Naaman Brown (talk) 21:46, 4 September 2009 (UTC) strike-through "A ". The title is not Une Voyage..." but "Voyage..." so title is "Journey..." which raises the question is "Voyage used as a noun or as a verb (imperative command from Arne Saknussemm "to journey")?Naaman Brown (talk) 14:55, 6 September 2009 (UTC)


Is it necessary to throw a spoiler in the heading? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:22, August 23, 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 04:29, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Who the hell is Jeff Hobbs?[edit]

I see that Jeff Hobbs is mentioned as the illustrator of the book. The only problem is that I have never heard of him or is able to find any info about him in the net. Is this info correct? (talk) 17:35, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Was that Vandalism? Édouard Riou is credited as illustrator now. --15lsoucy (talk) 00:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Real places mentioned in the book[edit]

Where can I find a list of real places mentioned in the book? (talk) 14:23, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Move this article (2009)[edit]


The article has been 'A Journey to the Center of the Earth since 22:38, 13 June 2004. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that titles long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Naaman Brown (talk) 22:34, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

giant 30 ft ichthyosaur[edit]

Most species of ichthyosaur were the size of modern tuna or porpoise. However, a complete fossil 17m/55ft long was discovered in Nevada, and in 1992 a 23m/75ft specimen was discovered in Canada. So compared to the general run, 30 ft ichthyosaur would be giant, but there were larger specimens in real life. In the William Butcher 1992 and Frederick Amadeus Malleson 1877 translations of "Journey..." it is described as "not less than a hundred feet long" so that would be closer to 30 meters than 30 feet. Naaman Brown (talk) 21:36, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Latin spelling[edit]

The Latin spelling is different in the French Hetzel edition:

In Sneffels Yoculis craterem kem delibat
umbra Scartaris Julii intra calendas descende,
audas viator, et terrestre centrum attinges.
Kod feci. Arne Saknussem.

While the article reads:

In Snefflls [sic] Iokulis kraterem kem delibat umbra Skartaris Iulii intra kalendas deskende, audas uiator, te [sic] terrestre kentrum attinges. Kod feki. Arne Saknussemm.

--Error (talk) 21:29, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

The version in Verne's original should be preferred for reprints. I think the Latin in different versions may suffer from either typographical errors introduced in the retyping or attempts to correct the Latin of "Arne Saknussem" by grammer police. Latin may have been the primary language of medieval scholars, but it does not guarantee that "Arne Saknussem" would have written perfect classic Latin.

 William Butcher 1992             Frederick Amadeus Malleson 1877  "Harwigg" paraphrase 1871      
 In Snefells Yoculis craterem     In Sneffels Joculis craterem     In Sneffels Yoculis craterem   
 kem delibat umbra Scartaris      quem delibat Umbra Scartaris     kem delibat umbra Scartaris    
 Julii intra calendas descende,   Julii intra calendas descende,   Julii intra calendas descende, 
 audas viator, et terrestre       Audax viator, et terrestre       audas viator, et terrestre     
 centrum attinges. Kod feci.      centrum attinges. Quod feci,     centrum attinges. Kod feci.    
 Arne Saknussemm.                 Arne Saknussemm.                 Arne Saknussemm                

Oddly, it is the despised 1871 paraphrase that keeps the Latin as quoted from the French edition. Naaman Brown (talk) 03:31, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


What about the 1956 translation by Willis T. Bradley, published by A. A. Wynn/ Dell? Seems like that would be a more modern version than the others, and worthy of note. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 23:17, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Title problem (2010)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. Jafeluv (talk) 00:27, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

A Journey to the Center of the EarthA Journey to the Centre of the Earth — This is the title used as early as the 1874 edition. This is evident from the cover which is in a prominent position on the page. The opening line of "A Journey to the Center of the Earth (French: Voyage au centre de la Terre, also translated under the titles Journey to the Centre of the Earth and A Journey to the Interior of the Earth" could be "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth (French: Voyage au centre de la Terre, also translated under the titles Journey to the Center of the Earth and A Journey to the Interior of the Earth" since these are later and less familiar translation titles. Please fix the inconsistency of using one title for the article and another title on the cover of the early edition of the book shown in the article. -- (talk) 18:45, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose – Wikipedia does not have a preference on English variations & the change request is directly related to variation discrepancy. Please see WP:ENGVAR for more on this. The remainder of the article tends to lean towards the American variant (e.g. civilization instead of civilisation). ɠu¹ɖяy¤ • ¢  03:07, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak support. Since this is a French novel there are no national ties to any particular variety of English. However, since the original French title uses "centre", it would make sense to use this spelling for the translated title also. PC78 (talk) 14:14, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is another Anglo-American contest; the book has been published in all parts of the English-speaking world, each in the local dialect. That British gallicizes on one word is a very weak argument; that would lead to retitling the book as a Voyage (which is not an utterly unknown title, but not helpful to the reader. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:16, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Adaptions - Other[edit]

The Adaptions - Other section mixes in sundry works inspired by Verne (some adaptions, others references) plus things like Warlord which may have little direct connection. This is a mess ! -- Beardo (talk) 03:27, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Move? (February 2013)[edit]

May I humbly suggest a move? While A Journey to the Center of the Earth was the original title of the first English translation, I've never met anyone who uses that indefinite article at the beginning. It isn't even justified by the original French title, which is simply Voyage au centre de la terre (no indefinite article, nor even any certainty that the title is a noun phrase rather than an imperative verb phrase).

Completeness or fidelity to the title page of the first English edition is, I believe, an irrelevant argument...for example, WP sees no need for an article called The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.

So, I'd suggest moving the page to Journey to the Center of the Earth. Note that this issue is unrelated to the prolonged center/centre argument above, and is, perhaps, a little more noticeable.Lemuellio (talk) 05:10, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

I've seen it as A Journey to the Center of the Earth before. In fact, my Signet Classics copy of the book includes the article A (see this). Journey to the Center of the Earth is already a redirect to A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and I personally see no reason why this should change. Your argument that WP does not have extremely long article titles, in my opinion, seems irrelevant because the inclusion of A doesn't make this article title superfluously long. Therefore, I oppose this move. Greengreengreenred 05:36, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Very good points, both of them, and I respect your position; I should have been clearer before. What I meant was that, while "A Journey of the Center of the Earth" is sometimes used on book covers etc., context suggests that it's neither the most faithful nor the most common rendition of the title. Here are the two arguments to which I refer:
Fidelity: The novel's original title is simply Voyage au centre de la terre. There is no indefinite or definite article, and no reason to be certain that "Voyage" is meant as a noun at all; it could easily be an imperative verb instead (e.g. "Go, ye heroes, and journey to the center of the earth!"), as others have pointed out before me. The title variant "A Journey" was invented for an early and very bad English adaptation, in which the addition of an indefinite article was only one of thousands of liberties taken to the text by the anonymous translator (see this academic article for more info).
Commonness: To determine whether "A Journey" is the most common version, I did some Google Books and WorldCat searches, the results of which are shown below. They suggest that, far from being the most common title, the "A Journey" version is in a distinct minority.
Search text Google Books hits WorldCat hits
"a journey to the center of the earth" 201,000 82
"journey to the center of the earth" 1,110,000 526
"a journey to the centre of the earth" 144,000 59
"journey to the centre of the earth" 494,000 316
What's more, reviewing the results reveals that, without exception, every modern (post-1950) translation of the book shuns the "A Journey" variant in favor of the more faithful rendering, as this bibliography makes clear on pp.107-108.
If just one argument or the other were in question, I wouldn't be so interested in the move--but to have both fidelity and commonness (not to mention modern translators' consensus) working against the Wikipedia title is most unfortunate, and suggests that a move is indeed in order. I certainly don't mean to cause an edit war, and already I fear I'm bordering on the pedantic by bringing the whole question up, but the arguments seem conclusive to me. Thanks!--Lemuellio (talk) 15:10, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

More American English v British English spelling war?[edit]

The article was started Rev 22:38 13 June 2004 as the only edit ever by IP User under the title "A Journey to the Center of the Earth".

The first text was added Rev 22:58, 13 June 2004 by User RickK using American English spelling for "Center" in the text. RickK used "Journey to the Center of the Earth" as translation from the French "Voyage au centre de la Terre".

Why, how the aitch does an English language article on a French novel qualify as a battleground over American v. British English spelling, other than the claim that because the first (bad) English translation was entitled "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth" the article is British territory?

It is my understanding that in issues of American versus British spelling, the tests are (a) was the original authorship of the article in American or British English, and (b) was the subject of the article British? Since the article was started using American English and the subject of the article is French, the "-re" v "-er" and "-our" v "-or" warfare is silly. If a British author started an article on a British subject, it would be a slam dunk: British spelling consistent. But this constant back and forth is tiresome.--Naaman Brown (talk) 15:28, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

So go with the sources: we cite the original translation and the OUP as "Centre". which should have more weight than a couple of audiobooks and a dead link to a comic book version. Alternatively, move the page to Voyage au centre de la Terre with redirects from both spellings, and an introduction showing both spellings in bold provided an academic source is found for "Center". Either spelling on its own is going to look odd to a proportion of our readers. . . dave souza, talk 16:22, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Requested move (indefinite article) - May 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. I note this reverses a previous undiscussed move 01:29, 14 March 2009‎ Obi-WanKenobi-2005 ... (moved Journey to the Center of the Earth to A Journey to the Center of the Earth over redirect) . Andrewa (talk) 01:57, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

A Journey to the Center of the EarthJourney to the Center of the Earth – The novel's original title is simply Voyage au centre de la terre. As demonstrated at length elsewhere on this talk page, A Journey to the Center of Earth (with the indefinite article) is a less faithful and statistically less popular variant of the most common English title, Journey the Center of the Earth (with no article). Thus, the page should be renamed as per this WP policy: "The rule of thumb regarding these translated titles of works is, if there is the least bit of ambiguity whether the article is always used in a translation of the title, it is preferred not to start the Wikipedia page name with an article." Lemuellio (talk) 22:41, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Support I think this is the more common title in English. PatGallacher (talk) 00:36, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - Not all official titles should be titles of an article about the century-old French novel. The "A" should be removed. --George Ho (talk) 00:32, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Somebody put 'original research' tag on the list of prehistoric animals of the book[edit]

I dunno who and how made that list, either himself or from some source, but isn't it just stupid? I mean, do you really need to quote somebody and cannot take a list of the animals from the text of the book yourself? I can blame any plot description, including that one in this article, as 'original research' then, either you quote somebody who made the plot description or go away/ (talk) 03:40, 22 August 2014 (UTC)


The original title, in French, used Centre. The first English language edition in 1871, published by Griffith and Farran, used Centre. The 1877 translation by Ward Lock & Co, also used Centre. What possible justification is there to use Center, other than that it was eventually published in the USA under that title? Martinevans123 (talk) 21:45, 9 July 2015 (UTC)