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Master of the World (novel)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other uses, see Master of the World (disambiguation).This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this article by adding secondary or tertiary sources.(January 2015)This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2015)Master of the WorldIllustration from the original publication. Drawing by Georges Roux.AuthorJules VerneOriginal titleMaître du mondeCover artistGeorges RouxCountryFranceLanguageFrenchSeriesThe Extraordinary VoyagesNo. 53GenreScience fiction, adventure novelPublisherPierre-Jules HetzelPublication date1904Published in English1911Media typePrint (hardback)Pages317ppISBNN/APreceded byA Drama in LivoniaFollowed byInvasion of the SeaMaster of the World (French: Maître du monde), published in 1904, is one of the last novels by French pioneer science fiction writer, Jules Verne. It is a sequel to Robur the Conqueror. At the time Verne wrote the novel, his health was failing. Master of the World is a "black novel," filled with foreboding and fear of the rise of tyrants such as the novel's villain, Robur, and totalitarianism.
Robur has perfected a new machine, which he has dubbed the Terror. It is ten-meter long vehicle, capable of operating as a speedboat,submarine, automobile, or aircraft. It can travel at the (then) unheard of speed of 150 miles per hour on land and at more than 200 mph when flying.
Strock tries to capture the Terror but instead is captured himself. Robur drives the strange craft to elude his pursuers, heading to theCaribbean and into a thunderstorm. The Terror is struck by lightning, breaks apart, and falls into the ocean. Strock is rescued from the vehicle's wreckage, but Robur's body is never found. The reader is left to decide whether or not he has died.
Literary significance & criticismMaster of the World contains a number of scientific ideas, current to Verne's time, which are now widely known to be errors. For example, traveling at high speed does not reduce a vehicle's weight.
Allusions/referencesThe novel's events take place in the summer of 1903, as characters refer to events of the 1902 Mount Pelée eruption on Martinique. Verne took a few liberties with American geography in the novel. It is set in Morganton, North Carolina and refers to a mountain known as the Great Aerie. The name suggests Mount Airy, located elsewhere in North Carolina; its description as flat-topped is similar to the mountain nearby known as Table Rock. Another portion of the novel is described as taking place at a large deep natural lake in Kansas, but there is no such lake.
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