The End of Nana Sahib: The Steam House

The End of Nana Sahib: The Steam House

by Jules Verne

This story is dated a few years after the Indian Mutiny. A party of men travel many miles in a wonderful moving house, drawn by a marvelous steam elephant. Their many adventures, and the doings of Nana Sahib, the fiend of the Mutiny and his final overthrow, are very exciting.

  • Series: Extraordinary Voyages
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.62
  • Pages: 276
  • Publish Date: July 19th 2003 by Fredonia Books (NL)
  • Isbn10: 1410103277
  • Isbn13: 9781410103277

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2) Algunos de los puntos no los pude encontrar, ya sea que cambiaron de nombre con el tiempo o que simplemente dejaron de existir.

review of Jules Verne's The Demon of Cawnpore by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - March 15, 2013 Verne's popularity was catapulted by his fantastic travel stories, such things as Five Weeks in a Balloon & Around the World in Eighty Days, a series his publisher entitles "Les Voyages Extraordinaires". The Demon of Cawnpore, Book One of The Steam House consists largely of description of areas traversed in India. "His biographers suggest ironically that he may have this debt to this creature in mind when he excogitated "Behemoth," the mechanical elephant whose adventures dominate both of the books which form The Steam House." (p 5) The Steam House being The Demon of Cawnpore followed by Tigers and Traitors, a sequel wch I, alas, don't have a copy of - thus my reading of The Demon of Cawnpore seems incomplete. It started off very promising w/ a steam engine run mechanical elephant capable of pulling 2 houses, a sortof Recreation Vehicle on a grand scale - placed in the context of an anti-imperialist revolt in British-occupied India. As, however, his actual fate is uncertain, Verne could plausibly represent him as having survived and plotting a further insurrection." - p 6 & this use of Nana Sahib as a character couple w/ the mechanical elephant gives The Demon of Cawnpore fabulous promise. Monsieur Parazard was vain, it is true, but so clever that we readily pardoned his vanity." (p 52) Captain Hood, the hunter, is out in search of game to bring back to the travelers w/ the steam-powered mechanical elephant but is unable to find anything: "He had only come out now in the character of a purveyor, and thought of the reception Monsieur Parazard would give him if he returned with an empty bag." (p 137) But the social world of servants & the filthy rich marches on in Verne as both a sign of accepted classism & as a gimmick to justify the wealth that enables certain fantastic things to get done. There is, however, a criticism of British imperialism somewhat implicit in the sympathetic treatment given to Nana Sahib, who's described as a murderer but still credited w/ much justification of the Indian rebellion. The novel starts w/ ""A reward of two thousand pounds will be paid to any one who will deliver up, dead or alive, one of the prime movers of the Sepoy revolt, at present known to be in the Bombay presidency, the Nabob Dandou Pant, commonly called...." - commonly called Nana Sahib; a "presidency" in this case meaning a district. I can almost fancy I see the travelling house, invented by Banks the great engineer, travelling the highways and byways of India, penetrating jungles, plunging through forests, venturing even into the haunts of lions, tigers, bears, panthers, and leopards, while we, safe within its walls, are dealing destruction on all and sundry! While today's 'necessities' might be a cell-phone & a laptop, these travelers 'needed' "sideboards and buffets loaded with all the wealth of silver, glass, and china, which is necessary to English comfort." (p 46) Yes, things were different in those days, it's casually mentioned that one place "is the wealthy center of the opium trade" - a destructive addiction imposed on much of the world by British military mercantilism. They are very hardly treated, condemned to the severest labour, and running a great chance of being decapitated as soon as their work is no longer required: so it is not to be wondered at that the Nana found many amongst them ready to fight for the independence of their country." (p 169) All in all, this was a good bk - but its fizzling out in anticipation of a sequel that I might never read was a bit disappointing.

The author in 1880 wasnt trying to write a book to fit into the expectation of the modern-day. Im a modern-day kind of gal and I like my plots thrilling and emotional. So, I cant be angry at the author succeeding in what they wished to do but it doesnt mean I like it. A look back at the history of writing Whats REALLY interesting about a book like this is the language used for the time. Its also really meta, in a way books just cant be anymore, the author literally starts talking to the reader at several points: 'We will leave them the characters for a time in their winter-quarters and devote a few pages to some other characters who have appeared in our story.'

Also, the realistic nature of the setting (a journey across India) did not seem to be a great fit for Verne's powerful and often fanciful imagination.

However, this is really one of Verne's travelogues and I wish a map of Victorian Age India had been included.

Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the genre of science-fiction.