Original title: Les cinq cents millions de la Begum (1879).
The Begum's Millions is also known as The Begum's Fortune.
The one thing this most prophetic of Jules Verne's great science-fiction classics has almost nothing to do with the fortune that the begum left to science! That just supplied the money by means of which two opposing geniuses set up their "ideal" cities in the back lands of Oregon. This, then, is the novel wherein Verne explored the wonders of utopian communities and of the power of science to create or destroy.
For one of those cities was a community of light and ease, of the dream of men for leisure and loveliness. Whereas the other, the mighty city of steel, embodied the opposite dream of men for power and conquest.
In The Begum's Millions, Verne's imagination was at its peak, foreseeing the problems of the century to come with its conflict of democracy versus dictatorship, of technology versus art – even the space satellite is forseen here!
Jules Gabriel Verne (1828–1905) was a French author who helped pioneer the science-fiction genre. He is best known for his novels A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1869–1870), Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) and The Mysterious Island (1875).
Jules Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of space travel had been devised. Consequently he is often referred to as the "Father of science fiction", along with H. G. Wells. Verne is the second most translated author of all time, only behind Agatha Christie, with 4162 translations, according to Index Translationum. Some of his works have been made into films.
Jules Verne. Wikipedia.