About the BookJules Verne (1828—1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction.
Professor Lidenbrock is rushing home in Hamburg, Germany to peruse his latest purchase, an original runic manuscript of an Icelandic saga written by Snorri Sturluson. He and his nephew Axel attempt to decipher a coded note but in vain. He decides to force himself and the others (Axel, and the maid, Martha) to go without food until he cracks the code. Axel discovers that Lidenbrock’s decipherment was correct, and only needs to be read backwards. He reveals the secret to Lidenbrock who finds in it the passage to the centre of the Earth via Snæfell in Iceland.
Lidenbrock immediately departs for Iceland taking his reluctant nephew with him. At Reykjavík, they hire Hans Bjelke as their guide, and travel overland to the base of the volcano. They find through a crater the passage to the centre of the Earth. After descending into the crater, they encounter many strange phenomena and great dangers. They reach an unimaginably vast cavern, which is filled with a very deep subterranean ocean. They build a raft out of trees and set sail.
A lightning storm throws them onto the coastline. Axel discovers prehistoric plant and animal life forms. They also see a prehistoric human, more than twelve feet in height, leaning against a tree.
The travellers are swept away as the sea rushes into a large open gap in the ground. Their raft ends up inside a large volcanic chimney filling with water and magma. They are ejected onto the surface from a side-vent of a volcano. Regaining consciousness, they discover that they have been ejected from Stromboli, a volcanic island located in southern Italy. They return to Hamburg to great acclaim.