Around the World in Eighty Days Insights

Jules Verne

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Allusion to Richard Brinsley Sheridan

In a long stream of historical allusions, Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816) is the first personage Verne uses to add substance and believability to his fanciful tale. Sheridan was the owner of London's Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. A poet and playwright noted for The School for Scandal and others, he also had a political career as a Whig MP, a Member of Parliament, House of Commons, for Stafford, England. He is buried in Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.

The Reform Club

The Reform Club extends credibility to (seemingly) lesser individuals. This theme is most developed through Fogg himself, through the elephant driver and guide, and through Aouda. The theme illustrates how individuals that are labeled by society as lesser, are worthy of having credibility and believability extended to them. Verne does more than assert this thematic thesis, he proves it by the behavior, sacrifices and rewards of his characters.

The Reform Club provides a significant allusion supporting the theme because it was founded in 1836 for Members of Parliament who supported the Representation of the People Act 1832, called the Great Reform Act, that extended vote enfranchisement (the right to vote) to the middle class and to renters paying more than £10 a year. "Reform Club" is also the name of the palatial meeting house for the Club. The famous, luxurious building was the work of architect Charles Barry and was built between 1836 and 1841 in London's Pall Mall district, home of many gentleman's clubs, known as London's Clubland.