Verniana — Jules Verne Studies / Etudes Jules Verne — Volume 4 (2011–2012) — 55–66

Les montagnes magnétiques d'André Laurie, Jules Verne et Thomas Edison

Jacques Crovisier


Can the ferromagnetic content of a natural site replace the soft iron core of an electromagnet? This is what André Laurie suggests in The Conquest of the Moon (Les Exilés de la Terre, 1888)—using a giant magnet to attract the Moon. In The Ice Sphinx (Le Sphinx des glaces, 1897), Jules Verne imagines a huge natural magnet body, near the magnetic South Pole, that would strip travelers of all their iron belongings. In the nonfiction world, Thomas Edison in 1890 seriously considers surrounding an iron mine with a coil of electric wires to construct the first radio telescope. All three cases use the same staging of the same physical phenomenon, taking advantage of a naturally magnetic material.

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