1. Cheapside, London, circa/before 1920. Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP, 1996.0009.X49877
“Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens,” Jules Verne begins. Around the World in 80 Days, published in 1873, traces the story of Londoner Mr. Fogg and several other colorful characters as they circumnavigate the globe. “Passepartout!” Mr. Fogg calls to his valet. “We are going round the world.” “Round the world!” “In eighty days. So we haven’t a moment to lose.”
¶ Some of the most important city planning in London occurred during the 19th century and reflects a Victorian need to divide districts according to both function and class. The buildings themselves can provide a visual reference for this type of organization of the city; often whole rows of houses and structures were erected at once. At the time Verne was writing this novel, the buildings along any single street in London exhibited a striking uniformity.
2. Morning in Piccadilly Circus, London (date unknown). Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP.
¶ Occupying a prime spot in relation to London’s culture, Piccadilly Circus is a landmark in London; it rests squarely in the center of the major shopping, business, and theater areas of the city.
3. Library of the House of Lords, London (date unknown). Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP.
Mr. Fogg “was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world.”
4. Moonlight on the Coast of Southern Italy, 1901. Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP, 1996.0009.WX22789
Upon leaving London via train on the evening of October 2, 1872, Mr. Fogg and his valet reach Paris on October 3, follow along to Turin on October 4 and, on October 5, set sail from Brindisi. They are due back in London on December 21.
5. Palm Room on board the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria ship (exact date unknown). Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP.
Phileas Fogg sails for Bombay on the “Mongolia,” which travels regularly between Brindisi and Bombay via the Suez Canal. “Among the passengers,” writes Verne, “was a number of officials and military officers of various grades, the latter being either attached to the regular British forces, or commanding the Sepoy troops and receiving high salaries ever since the central government has assumed the powers of the East India Company… What with the military men, a number of rich young Englishmen on their travels, and the hospitable efforts of the purser, the time passed quickly on the ‘Mongolia.’ The best of fare was spread upon the cabin tables at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the eight o’clock supper, and the ladies scrupulously changed their toilets twice a day; and the hours were whiled away, when the sea was tranquil, with music, dancing, and games.”
¶ The SS Kaiserin was a major ship of Hamburg America, a transatlantic steamship line dating from 1847. Hamburg America owned and operated 102 ships with service in Europe and from Europe to North America. SS Kaiserin was the largest ship in the world when it was introduced in 1905. It boasted state-of-the-art technology with five decks, electric lighting, and wireless machinery, and accommodated 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and tourist classes.
6. The Suez Canal at Port Said, Egypt (date unknown). Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP, 1996.0009.KU58571
As the “Mongolia” approaches Suez, the dock comes alive with activity. “Little by little the scene on the quay became more animated; sailors of various nations, merchants, ship-brokers, porters, fellahs, bustled to and fro as if the steamer were immediately expected. The weather was clear, and slightly chilly. The minarets of the town loomed above the houses in the pale rays of the sun. A jetty pier, some two thousand yards long, extended into the roadstead. A number of fishing-smacks and coasting boats, some retaining the fantastic fashion of ancient galleys, were discernible on the Red Sea.”
¶ The Suez Canal revolutionized travel in the 19th century and redefined international relations, particularly among Europe, Asia, and Africa. The controversial, 101-mile-long canal was one of the initial inspirations for Around the World in 80 Days. Even prior to its completion in 1869, construction sparked international and political debates; historian Halford Hoskins poignantly describes the Suez Canal as one of the most significant “world highways” that demonstrates the close connection between politics and geography.
7. The Suez Canal at Port Said, Egypt, circa/before 1920. Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP, 1996.0009.X101248
8. Suez, Egypt (date unknown). Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP, 1996.0009.KU58573
9. The Trimurti showing the three faces of Shiva, 19 feet high, Elephanta Cave near Bombay (Mumbai), India (photo by H.G. Ponting, date unknown). Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP, 1996.0009.WX25782
Mr. Fogg and his valet Passepartout arrive in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) on October 20. They intend to board the train for Calcutta that evening. “As for the wonders of Bombay—its famous city hall, its splendid library, its forts and docks, its bazaars, mosques, synagogues, its Armenian churches, and the noble pagoda on Malabar Hill with its two polygonal towers—he cared not a straw to see them. He would not deign to examine even the masterpieces of Elephanta, or the mysterious hypogea, concealed south-east from the docks, or those fine remains of Buddhist architecture, the Kanherian grottoes of the island of Salcette.”
¶ The structure of the Elephanta Cave near Bombay is elaborate in its spatial organization: the squares, circles, and axes of the cave demonstrate a geometry that recalls a sacred mandala. Scholars argue that the layout is designed to give visitors entirely different experiences in different parts of the cave. The statues at Elephanta represent different aspects of the Hindu deity Shiva, and are designed to lead visitors from a natural to a supernatural world. The central figure of a three-headed Trimurti represents Shiva as the “generator” with a third eye and moon shape on the right side of his head. The face on Shiva’s left side represents Durga, the female counterpart or consort to Shiva. The face on the right side is distinguished by furrowed lines on the brow suggesting a violent aspect of the deity.
10. The “Across India Special,” about to leave Bombay (Mumbai), before 1920. Keystone-Mast Collection at UCR CMP, 1996.0009.X119599
“Formerly one was obliged to travel in India by the old cumbrous methods of going on foot or on horseback, in palanquins or unwieldy coaches; now, fast steamboats ply on the Indus and the Ganges, and a great railway, with branch lines joining the mail line at many points on its route, traverses the peninsula from Bombay to Calcutta in three days.”
¶ In the late 1800s Britain connected India with a major railway—the world’s fourth largest—in an effort to increase income through the exchange of goods such as cotton and rice. By 1873 the twenty largest cities in India were connected by rail. In addition to facilitating commerce, this development introduced the possibility of travel within India and to other parts of the world.