Godfrey Morgan: a Californian Mystery

Jules VERNE (1828 - 1905)

This Verne adventure is indeed a mystery and also a satire on the Crusoe genre. Our characters are larger than life, as well they should be - Verne expects Americans to perform epics. Young Godfrey goes to sea for adventure before settling down with his bride to be. His incredibly wealthy uncle sets him aboard one of his steamers which founders some days out, leaving Godfrey and his companion, a dance and comportment instructor, near the shore of a uninhabited island. They set up residence, benefiting from livestock, some supplies and tools which apparently also wash ashore. Later, a canoe full of savages land in order to cook up a prisoner. Godfrey helps the latter escape, and the grateful native becomes a "Friday". While the island initially seems free from any predators, it is not long before Friday saves Godfrey from a bear, a tiger and a poisonous snake. But when swarms of lions, tigers, hyenas and crocodiles attack it is more than they can handle. Where do all the beasts come from? What is the cause of the occasional plume of smoke Godfrey notes on the island? Those are some of the mysteries about which the reader will be enlightened. (A. Banner )

Genre(s): Action & Adventure Fiction, Nautical & Marine Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 CHAPTER I. In which the reader has the opportunity of buying an Island in the Pacific Ocean Arnold
Play 02 CHAPTER II. How William W. Kolderup, of San Francisco, was at loggerheads with J. R. Taskinar, of Stockton Arnold
Play 03 CHAPTER III. The conversation of Phina Hollaney and Godfrey Morgan, with a piano accompaniment Arnold
Play 04 CHAPTER IV. In which T. Artelett, otherwise Tartlet, is duly introduced to the reader Arnold
Play 05 CHAPTER V. In which they prepare to go, and at the end of which they go for good Arnold
Play 06 CHAPTER VI. In which the reader makes the acquaintance of a new personage Arnold
Play 07 CHAPTER VII. In which it will be seen that William W. Kolderup was probably right in insuring his ship Arnold
Play 08 CHAPTER VIII. Which leads Godfrey to bitter reflections on the mania for travelling Arnold
Play 09 CHAPTER IX. In which it is shown that Crusoes do not have everything as they wish Arnold
Play 10 CHAPTER X. In which Godfrey does what any other shipwrecked man would have done under the circumstances Arnold
Play 11 CHAPTER XI. In which the question of lodging is solved as well as it could be Arnold
Play 12 CHAPTER XII. Which ends with a thunder-bolt Arnold
Play 13 CHAPTER XIII. In which Godfrey again sees a slight smoke over another part of the Island Arnold
Play 14 CHAPTER XIV. Wherein Godfrey finds some wreckage, to which he and his companion give a hearty welcome Arnold
Play 15 CHAPTER XV. In which there happens what happens at least once in the life of every Crusoe, real or imaginary Arnold
Play 16 CHAPTER XVI. In which something happens which cannot fail to surprise the reader Arnold
Play 17 CHAPTER XVII. In which Professor Tartlet's gun really does marvels Arnold
Play 18 CHAPTER XVIII. Which treats of the moral and physical education of a simple native of the Pacific Arnold
Play 19 CHAPTER XIX. In which the situation already gravely compromised becomes more and more complicated Arnold
Play 20 CHAPTER XX. In which Tartlet reiterates in every key that he would rather be off Arnold
Play 21 CHAPTER XXI. Which ends with quite a surprising reflection by the negro Carefinotu Arnold
Play 22 CHAPTER XXII. Which concludes by explaining what up to now had appeared inexplicable Arnold