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Map of the route taken by Phileas Fogg, starting in London, then proceeding east to Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong , Yokohama, San Francisco, New York, and across the Atlantic ocean to Ireland, then Liverpool England, and back to London. The route planner below is for a circumnavigation on water in under 80 days, using hydrogen, as per the author's prediction in The Mysterious Island. It would be a major achievement if this was arranged to honor the 150th anniversary of his publication.


Inspector Fix is a detective employed by the Bank of England to find and arrest the villain who robbed their bank, in the Jules Verne story: Around the World in Eighty Days. He is a devious and unlikable individual who will stop at nothing to detain Phileas Fogg, who he firmly believes is the thief, bolstered by the fact the Fogg and his French manservant, Jean Passepartout, carry with them a large carpet bag full of money, coupled with their quest to escape from England and travel quickly as far as they can.


Detective Fix stoops to all manner of questionable ruses to try and delay Fogg, in the hope that a warrant for the English gentleman will arrive in time to be able to apprehend the innocent traveler. Imagine the claim for false arrest and imprisonment, where there is a wager of 20,000 twenty thousand pounds at stake! 


It matters not to Inspector Fix, that Fogg will lose his wager, because he does not believe there is a wager, or that the intention is for Fogg to return to England in under 80 days.


This tells us that Fix is a bungling detective to say the least. Because an intelligent detective, such as the fictional Sherlock Holmes, would first have made enquiries of his customers at the Bank of England, asking if any of them had heard of the Reform Club or the wager.


It seems ludicrous that any policeman would spend such sums traveling to the other side of the planet, on nothing more than a hunch. Granted that his clients are footing the bill. And that begs another question? How it is that the bank's executives are not probing the expenditure, or putting two and two together, as to the remarkable coincidences that any banker, assuming they are on the ball, might spot.


Regardless of these issues, the English detective, as antagonist, adds something to the story. His antics infuriated us on more than one occasion in the David Niven film, and in the Pierce Brosnan TV series. We suppose that is the whole point.


But with so many other incidences to hinder our intrepid adventurer, it might have been better to sail closer to the wind with the plot, staying with the problems encountered with such a hectic itinerary. Granted, that a book is an entirely different animal to a film. But a well adapted film, usually sharpens up a story.












The story starts in London on October 2, 1872. Phileas Fogg is a wealthy, solitary, unmarried gentleman with regular habits. The source of his wealth is not known and he lives modestly. He fires his former valet, James Forster, for bringing him shaving water two degrees too cold. He hires as a replacement Passepartout, a Frenchman of around 30 years of age.

Later that day in the Reform Club, he gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph, stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days.

Fogg accepts a wager for 20,000 from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by his manservant Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8.45 p.m. on October 2, 1872, and thus is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, on December 21.



Jules Verne is known as the Father of Science Fiction




Where Jules Verne's suggested that it might be possible to travel Around The World In 80 Days, we would like to extend that ethos to include traveling in a Zero Emission yacht (ZEWT or ZEV) driven by electric hydro-jets? With the advent of solar power and liquid hydrogen, it is a distinct possibility - on a scale of the wager that the legendary Philleas Fogg entered into at the Reform Club in 1872.























Original book cover: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne



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