Alderney celebrates 150th anniversary of popular adventure novel
By David Hartwig
Guernsey Post will issue a set of stamps for Alderney Feb. 15 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in 80 Days.
The adventure novel tracks the exploits of Phileas Fogg and his valet, Passepartout, who attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days after Fogg places a wager of £20,000 at the Reform Club, where he spends a good deal of his time.
First serialized in the French newspaper Le Temps in 1872, the story appeared in its entirety as a novel in 1873 with editions in both French and English.
The Alderney issue marking the 150th anniversary includes a set of six stamps and a souvenir sheet with one additional stamp.
Bridget Yabsley, head of Guernsey Post’s philatelic division, said: “French author Jules Verne is widely considered a visionary of the modern science fiction genre. Years before the creation of lunar modules and videoconferencing, Verne had written about them in his novels, which were full of futuristic inventions. He is one of the world’s most translated authors of all time, and during his literary career, he wrote 65 novels, 30 plays and many short stories, essays and opera librettos.
“We are excited to depict this fantastic story with its exotic locations, different cultures, and suspense. Fogg and Passepartout are an unusual pairing; what begins as a journey around the world for Fogg to win a simple wager turns into a wonderful story of loyalty and friendship.”
Each stamp in the set of six depicts a key event from the novel in an illustration surrounded by a circular frame that contains the book’s title and resembles a compass. Each illustration extends beyond the confines of the frame, and many of the stamps show related images outside of it.
The denomination is in the upper right on each stamp, and the cipher of King Charles III is in the upper left. “Alderney” and “Bailiwick of Guernsey” appear in two lines between the denomination and cipher.
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