Author(s): Jules Verne
When two European scientists unexpectedly inherit an Indian rajah's fortune, each builds an experimental city of his dreams in the wilds of the American Northwest. France-Ville is a harmonious urban community devoted to health and hygiene, the specialty of its French founder, Dr. Francois Sarrasin. Stahlstadt, or City of Steel, is a fortress-like factory town devoted to the manufacture of high-tech weapons of war. Its German creator, the fanatically pro-Aryan Herr Schultze, is Verne's first truly evil scientist. In his quest for world domination and racial supremacy, Schultze decides to showcase his deadly wares by destroying France-Ville and all its inhabitants. Both prescient and cautionary, The Begum's Millions is a masterpiece of scientific and political speculation and constitutes one of the earliest technological utopia/dystopias in Western literature. This Wesleyan edition features notes, appendices, and a critical introduction as well as all the illustrations from the original French edition.
"To read Jules Verne is one of the great treats of childhood. To read Jules Verne later in life is to discover a writer just as satisfying but even richer, one who is not only a natural storyteller but also a mythmaker, a social critic and an innovative artist. ...Give The Begum's Millions or one of (his) other novels a try.... There's a lot more to Jules Verne than what you find in those old, albeit quite wonderful, Disney movies." --Washington Post Book World
Jules Verne (1828-1905) was the first author to popularize the literary genre that has become known as science fiction. Arthur B. Evans is Professor of French at DePauw University and series editor for Wesleyan's Early Classics of Science Fiction series. Stanford L. Luce is Professor Emeritus of French at Miami University in Ohio. Peter Schulman is Associate Professor of French and International Studies at Old Dominion University.