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In this chief of his works, Jules Verne has set himself to tell the story of all the most stirring adventures of which we have any written record to give the history, 'from the time of Hanno and Herodotus down to that of Livingstone and Stanley,' of those voyages of exploration and discovery which are among the most thrilling episodes in the history of human enterprise. In short, Jules Verne has chosen for his most important book the only subject which he could make surpass his own vivid and realistic stories in absorbing interest; to the treatment of such material he brings all the dash and vivid picturesqueness of his own creations, and it may be imagined that he makes a book worth reading. The plan of the work is so valuable that it is a matter for surprise, that such a history has never been undertaken before. To trace connectedly the progress of discovery as Jules Verne does, from the time when the world was a very small circle indeed, surrounded by the densest of outer darkness, and when the Cartagenian navigators ventured timidly out of the Mediterranean is to gain an altogether new idea of the daring and skill that has been expended in this one direction. It is a worthy subject for the most ambitious work of such a writer. Verne obtained all information for the book from the original documents.
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