Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

by Jules Verne

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne, published in 1870. It is about the fictional Captain Nemo and his submarine, Nautilus, as seen by one of his passengers, Professor Pierre Aronnax.

Source: Verne, J. (1870). Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. (F. P. Walter, Trans.). Paris, France: Hetzel.

Introduction to the text.
Part 1, Chapter 1: A Runaway Reef
Talk spreads throughout Europe and America about the sighting of a huge sea creature. The public becomes concerned with a series of shipwrecks.
Part 1, Chapter 2: The Pros and Cons
The narrator introduces himself to the reader. Different theories are debated as to the cause of the recent shipwrecks. The narrator is invited to join an impending expedition.
Part 1, Chapter 3: As Master Wishes
Aronnax feels compelled to hunt the monster. Aronnax meets Captain Farragut.
Part 1, Chapter 4: Ned Land
Aronnax gives is account of Captain Farragut, Ned Land, and the the capabilities of the Abraham Lincoln
Part 1, Chapter 5: At Random
Ned Land impresses the crew with his abilities.
Part 1, Chapter 6: At Full Steam
Fearing the loss of his ship, Farragut chooses not to attack until morning. Ned Land's harpooning of the creature fails to produce the desired result. Arronnax finds himself in a precarious situation.
Part 1, Chapter 7: A Whale of Unknown Species
Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned Land have a close encounter with the creature.
Part 1, Chapter 8: "Mobilis in Mobili"
The three men find themselves in strange, but hospitable surroundings.
Part 1, Chapter 9: The Tantrums of Ned Land
As the men discuss their situation, Ned Land continues to become more and more agitated.
Part 1, Chapter 10: The Man of the Waters
The commander of the vessel speaks with the captured men, and offers them some limited freedom. Aronnax is invited to eat with commander.
Part 1, Chapter 11: The Nautilus
Captain Nemo gives Aronnax a personal tour of the ship.
Part 1, Chapter 12: Everything Through Electricity
Captain Nemo explains the various instruments and equipment throughout the Nautilus.
Part 1, Chapter 13: Some Figures
Captain Nemo presents the blueprints of the Nautilus to Aronnax in the hopes of answering his questions further.
Part 1, Chapter 14: The Black Current
The vast nature of the sea is discussed. Aronnax learns some unsettling information about Captain Nemo. Aronnax attempts to persuade Ned Land. The men have a debate about fish.
Part 1, Chapter 15: An Invitation in Writing
Conseil continues to perform his domestic duties. Aronnax starts his diary. Aronnax, Land, and Conseil receive an invitation from Captain Nemo.
Part 1, Chapter 16: Strolling the Plains
The men commence their underwater hunt.
Part 1, Chapter 17: An Underwater Forest
The men reach the forest, where they encounter the various wildlife of the area.
Part 1, Chapter 18: Four-Thousand Leagues Under the Pacific
Aronnax returns to the Nautilus's platform. Captain Nemo discusses the personality of the sea. Aronnax and Conseil continue to witness amazing scenes from the inside of the Nautilus.
Part 1, Chapter 19: Vanikoro
As the Nautilus continues its travels into more populated areas, the underwater destruction continues to increase. The ship arrives at the island Vanikoro, where Aronnax and Captain Nemo discuss the the tale of La Pérouse's shipwreck.
Part 1, Chapter 20: The Torres Strait
Conseil wishes Aronnax a Happy New Year before discussing their extended imprisonment. The Nautilus finds itself at the mercy of the tides.
Part 1, Chapter 21: Some Days Ashore
The men explore the island in hopes of finding some food not available on ship. Land finally gets a chance to hunt.
Part 1, Chapter 22: The Lightning Bolts of Captain Nemo
Natives drive the men off the island then proceed towards the Nautilus.
Part 1, Chapter 23: "Aegri Somnia" (Latin: "troubled dreams.")
Captain Nemo discusses his many experiments with Aronnax. As the Nautilus approaches the shore, Captain Nemo becomes overwhelmed with anger.
Part 1, Chapter 24: The Coral Realm
A distracted Captain Nemo asks Aronnax for some medical assistance. The men travel to the coral kingdom to bury the dead.
Part 2, Chapter 1: The Indian Ocean
As the second part of the voyage begins, Aronnax begins to believe to there is more to Captain Nemo than he originally thought. Aronnax encounters the Argonaut.
Part 2, Chapter 2: A New Proposition from Captain Nemo
Captain Nemo plans another excursion for the men.
Part 2, Chapter 3: A Pearl Worth Ten Million
Captain Nemo and the men go pearl hunting.
Part 2, Chapter 4: The Red Sea
Land and Aronnax discuss the possible heading of the Nautilus. Captain Nemo and Aronnax discuss the dangers of the Red Sea.
Part 2, Chapter 5: Arabian Tunnel
The men observe a strange creature. Land, Conseil, and Aronnax set out for another hunt.
Part 2, Chapter 6: The Greek Islands
Land, Conseil, and Aronnax continue to discuss the possibility of escaping the Nautilus, although some are more enthusiastic than others.
Part 2, Chapter 7: The Mediterranean in Forty-Eight Hours
The men find escape from the Nautilus impossible under the current circumstances.
Part 2, Chapter 8: The Bay of Vigo
Having arrived in the Atlantic, Ned Land decides it's finally time to escape. Aronnax explores the museum of the Nautilus. Captain Nemo and Aronnax discuss Spanish history.
Part 2, Chapter 9: A Lost Continent
Aronnax recounts the previous nights events to Ned Land. Aronnax is asked to go on another excursion.
Part 2, Chapter 10: The Underwater Coalfields
In the coalmine, Captain Nemo and his crew search for fuel.
Part 2, Chapter 11: The Sargasso Sea
The Sargasso Sea is explained in detail. Aronnax continues to ponder the possibility of freedom from the Nautilus.
Part 2, Chapter 12: Sperm Whales and Baleen Whales
Ned Land, Conseil, and Aronnax attempt to size up the crew of the Nautilus. An unfortunate incident greatly affects Ned Land's attitude toward Captain Nemo.
Part 2, Chapter 13: The Ice Bank
Once again the Nautilus finds itself at the mercy of the elements.
Part 2, Chapter 14: The South Pole
Captain Nemo arrives at the South Pole. Conseil and Aronnax make their final observations of the remote area.
Part 2, Chapter 15: Accident or Incident?
The Nautilus's departure from the South Pole is not without incident.
Part 2, Chapter 16: Shortage of Air
In order to avert tragedy, Captain Nemo takes drastic action.
Part 2, Chapter 17: From Cape Horn to the Amazon
After surfacing, the men rush to catch their breath. Aronnax continues to document his observations.
Part 2, Chapter 18: The Devilfish
Captain Nemo's behavior changes dramatically after departing the American coast. The Nautilus and her crew encounter the giant squid.
Part 2, Chapter 19: The Gulf Stream
As the ship travels through the Gulf Stream, the men continue to wait for their opportunity to escape. Captain Nemo presents his manuscript to Aronnax.
Part 2, Chapter 20: In Latitude 47° 24' and Longitude 17° 28'
As the ship heads towards the English Channel, Captain Nemo shares the story of the Vengeur with Aronnax.
Part 2, Chapter 21: A Mass Execution
An unfortunate Warship decides to engage the Nautilus.
Part 2, Chapter 22: The Last Words of Captain Nemo
A still shaken Aronnax, is approached by Ned Land with another plan for escape. The crew of the Nautilus become increasingly upset.
Part 2, Chapter 23: Conclusion
After ten months and twenty-thousand leagues, Aronnax reviews the written account of his adventures.
  • Year Published: 1870
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: France
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
  • Word Count: 151,960
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, chapter 18: four-thousand leagues under the pacific, chapter 19: vanikoro, chapter 20: the torres strait, chapter 21: some days ashore, chapter 22: the lightning bolts of captain nemo, french literature, jules verne, part 1
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