The Fur Country

- Jules Verne
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The Hudson's Bay Company is one of the earliest corporations in the world and the oldest commercial organization in North America. It began as a fur trading company in 1670 and today owns a variety of retail corporations selling a diverse range of goods. In _The Fur Country_ by Jules Verne, the plot describes how a team of Hudson's Bay Company members travel through the Northwest Territory of Canada with the aim of establishing a mission on the Arctic Circle. The members are a mixed bunch. One of the ladies, Paulina Barnett, seeks adventure, while a meteorologist Thomas Black hopes to view a spectacular solar eclipse scheduled to occur during their travel. Set in 1859, the story's protagonist, Lt. Jasper Hobson is enchanted by the rich flora and fauna he and his group encounter here. However, things take a sudden and unexpected turn. Volcanic activity triggers off an earthquake, which results in a bizarre occurrence. The natural laws of physics seem altered, as their geographical position seems to have changed by several degrees. The party soon realizes to its horror that they are marooned on an iceberg... _The Fur Country_ is part of a series of fifty-four novels under the title _Voyages Extraodinaires_ written by the French novelist, poet and playwright, Jules Verne, best known for his adventure stories. The books were published between 1863 and 1905. Verne's aim was to portray, describe and document all the contemporary scientific knowledge that was available at the time and present it in an entertaining and comprehensive manner so that the common man could appreciate it. The wealth of real information, scientific facts and details available in these books made them become known as “encyclopedic novels.” _Books like Around the World in Eighty Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Mighty Orinoco_ and others are part of this magnificent body of work. Originally published in two volumes, _The Fur Country_ was illustrated by the celebrated pair, Jules Ferat and Alfred Quesnay de Beaurepaire. The first English translation was published in 1873 and it was translated from the original French by Mrs. Nancy Bell. The English title was _The Fur Country or Seventy Degrees North Latitude_. Though Jules Verne is considered to be a “children's writer” in the English speaking world, this is not strictly true and this misconception arose because of the several highly abridged and ill-translated versions that became popular. Verne is a major writer in France and Europe and is often referred to as The Father of Science Fiction along with other greats like HG Wells. _The Fur Country_ is an exciting, informative and entertaining read for readers of all ages.

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