Short summary - Robur the Conqueror - Jules Gabriel Verne

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Robur the Conqueror
Jules Gabriel Verne

A mysterious flying object has been spotted in the sky above the largest cities, from which the sounds of a trumpet are heard from time to time. And at a meeting of the Weldon Scientific Society, dedicated to the construction of a giant controlled balloon, a stranger comes who calls himself engineer Robur and makes a speech about the superiority of aircraft heavier than air over balloons, after which he disappears along with the chairman and secretary of the Society ...

The novel begins in Philadelphia, USA. The local Weldon Institute plans to build an airship. Members of the institute cannot agree on where the propeller should be: in front or behind. An outsider named Robur attends an institute meeting and reveals that he has built a steerable airship with a propeller front and back. When he reproaches his colleagues for their incompetence, they promise to beat him up. Robur draws two revolvers. During hand-to-hand combat, he disappears.

Members of the Institute look for Robur on the streets of Philadelphia, but do not find him. Prudent, president of the association, is heading home with writer Phil Evans. They are accompanied by Frycollin, Prudent's black servant. At the same time, the President and Phil discuss building an airship. Unnoticed, they enter a completely empty park. Suddenly, they are attacked, stunned and kidnapped.

When they wake up, they find that they are in a dark cell. Robur frees them. Prudent, Efvans and Frycollin are aboard the Albatros, a huge aerial platform built by Robur. It is driven by two propellers front and rear, as well as rotors. Robur kidnapped them and demands to take him on a trip around the world on the Albatross.

The journey takes place over the USA, the Pacific Ocean, China, the Himalayas and India. Prudent and Evans try to escape the Albatross. Their attempt is thwarted. Above the Capian Sea, Robur teaches a lesson to Freikollin, who all the time sits in a locked "cabin" and screams in fear. The servant is put into a large basket, which will hang on a rope under the “belly” of the Albatross.

Over Paris, Prudent and Evans throw down a snuffbox with a call for help. Flying over Africa, our friends are trying to capture the Albatross by opening fire from its cannons. The crew joins them.

When the Albatross reaches Antarctica, one of the propellers is damaged during a storm. The Airship continues to fly north and lands on the island to repair the damage. During the repair, the prisoners flee. They leave a bomb on board the Albatross, which explodes.

The heroes return to Philadelphia. The Weldon Institute is building an airship called the Inception. He also has one screw in front and behind. During his first flight, Prudent and Evans are on the boat. Suddenly, "Albatross" appears and beats "Start" in the race. When the Inception falls, Robur transfers his crew to the Albatross. He lands and publicly taunts members of the Weldon Institute and then leaves Philadelphia.