Jules Verne
Translated by Benjamin Ivry
ISBN 9781566491792 (hardcover)
Published in March 2002
MSRP $25.00
Magellania – which refers to the region around the Strait of Magellan – is the home of Kaw-djer, a man of Western origin whom the indigenous peoples look upon as a god because of his knowledge of medicine and his benevolent nature. A man whose motto is “Neither God nor master,” he has shunned Western civilization and its hypocrisies in order to live peacefully on an island claimed by no one. But Chile soon claims the island in a treaty with Argentina, and, in a fit of despair, Kaw-djer prepares to end his life by throwing himself off a high plateau. As he contemplates the horizon in his final moment, he sees a large ship headed towards the treacherous reefs near the island. He lights a fire to help steer it to harbor – and this saves the lives of a thousand immigrants headed from San Francisco to a new life in Africa. The immigrants, stuck on the island due to heavy damage to the ship, decide to found a colony on the island. They ask Kaw-djer to be their leader – but will he go against everything he believes in to help them live and prosper in this foreign land at the end of the world?

Written in 1897, Magellania was totally re-written by his son Michel and published under a different title, Les Naufragés du Jonathan, and soon disappeared into obscurity. In 1985 the great Vernian scolar Piero Gondolo della Riva discovered the original manuscript in the family archives of Verne's publisher Hetzel, and two years later the Jules Verne Society published a limited edition of this original work. Unlike most of Vern'es other novels – including the last Verne novel to appear, Paris is the Twentieth Century (Random House) – which tend to place more emphasis on scientific and futuristic visions than on the development of his characters, Magellania distinguishes itself by the complexity of its hero and Verne's somber, philosophical questioning of society, religion, nature and man as he neared the end of his life. Welcome Rain is proud to introduce this first English translation of Magellania, a unique, forceful novel that widens the scope of Verne's literary legacy.

JULES VERNE (1828-1905), one of the most beloved writers in the history of world literature, is the author of such classics as Around the World in Eighty Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, and The Mysterious Island.