Verniana — Jules Verne Studies / Etudes Jules Verne — Volume 1 (2008–2009) — 43–50

Jules Verne’s visits to Gibraltar in 1878 and 1884


Ian Thompson & Philippe Valetoux


Gibraltar occupied a special place in Verne’s creative life, both as a geographical locale and as a symbol of British imperialism. He frequently alluded to Gibraltar in his Voyages extraordinaires[1] and in his satirical short story, Gil Braltar[2] he lampoons the Garrison which secured British control of the colony. This fascination with the “Rock” was greatly enhanced by the fact that he twice visited Gibraltar in the Saint-Michel III, in 1878 and 1884. This paper reconstructs the detail of these two visits by reference to Verne’s own rather terse notes in his carnets de voyage, and by fieldwork, interviews and archival work conducted in Gibraltar in 2008. Relevant features are indicated in the accompanying map. In addition, doubt is expressed on the version of events published by M. Allotte de la Fuÿe.[3]

1. Olivier Dumas, Jules Verne et Gibraltar, Jules Verne, l’Afrique et la Méditerranée, (Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2005), 59–65.

2. Gil Braltar, (Paris: Hetzel, 1887).

3. Allotte de la Fuÿe, M., Jules Verne, sa vie, son oeuvre, (Paris: Hachette, reedition, 1953).

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