—The Norwegian Jules Verne website–
A 150 -years anniversary, 1861 – 2011
This website is presenting texts describing the ‘Norwegian’ side of Jules Verne.
The articles on http://www.jules-verne.no cover his norwegian tales, his reference to Norway in various famous novels, and describe in detail his voyage of 1861.
For the moment most of the articles on this website are written in Norwegian (some only accessible by password). Eventually, the material will be available in English.
In 2011 it is 150 years since Jules Verne visited the Scandinavian countries for the first time. The author arrived in Norway on the 18th of July 1861. After seeing the Vestfold coast from the deck of the paddle-steamer «Viken», he visited Oslo (Christiania), Sandvika and Eidsvoll by the lake Mjösa. Then he started on an exiting journey to the scenic parts of the counties Buskerud and Telemark. At Rjukan, he admired the famous waterfall and he also made a hike all the way up to the summit of the mount Gausta [Gausta-toppen]..
The Jules Verne diary from his Scandinavian journey
The proof (apart from his diary) that Verne in fact visited Telemark, would be his handwritten signature in the guest book of the inn at Dal where he spent some days in July 1861. According to local sources this book probably was lost in a fire. So, given that this document no longer exists, a testimonial from someone who actually saw his signature in this book just afterwards, would be an almost similar ‘proof’. This verification can be found in the travel book written by the French author Jules Leclercq after his visit to Dal in the year 1873.
In the book Un tour en Norwège – Leclercq comments on spotting the signature of fellow countrymen Jules Verne and Paul Riant (writer for the magazine Le tour du Monde in 1858/1860). So apparently all three stayed at the same guesthouse at separate dates, some 150 years ago. This has all been presented in an article on ‘Jules Verne in Norvège’ by Mr. Henri Pons in Bulletin de la Société Jules Verne no. 28, 1973.
The voyages of all these three French writers in the Norwegian counties Buskerud and Telemark in the 1860 – 1870’s were most likely organized by Thomas Bennett´s travel agency in Christiania. For this reason, one could think that they all probably followed the same travel-route. The voyages of Paul Riant and Jules Leclercq were, as far as I can see, very similar between the city Drammen and the hamlet at Dal. Using the same logic, most up to date books and articles about Verne’s voyage in 1861 have taken for granted that by knowing the voyage of Leclercq one also knows the voyage of Jules Verne.
New findings in the Jules Verne diary indicate that this is not the case. Extracts of his travel diary with comments and additional notes can soon be read on this website,
an introduction is here
— Per Johan Moe, http://www.julesverne.no–
email: Per.J.Moe * hive.no