Page last modified: May 7, 2021

Un voyage en ballon / Un drame dans les airs - 1851
(1874 in Docteur Ox))

A Voyage in a Balloon / A Drama in the Air - 1852
(1874 in Dr Ox's Experiment)

[Part of: Voyages Extraordinaires #63 - - Contes et Nouvelles]

This listing is for the individual publications of the short story A Drama in the Air.
In French and in English, it is usually published as one of the short stories in Dr Ox's Experiment

French
(J-M Margot)
Jules Verne
Encyclopedia
Myers
Bibliography
Galagher
Bibliography
DA
V012
n/a
A2

Alternate English Titles:

  • A Voyage in a Balloon
  • Voyage in a Balloon
  • A Drama in the Air
  • A Drama in Mid-Air
  • Drama in the Air
  • A Balloon Adventure

Plot Synopsis: 
(courtesy of D. Kytasaari - http://epguides.com/djk/JulesVerne/works.shtml

In Germany a man plans to take some passengers on a ride in his balloon. When they don’t show, another man quickly jumps into the basket as the balloon begins its ascent. The unexpected passenger's only intent in his ride is for the pilot to take the balloon as high as it will go.


Book Collecting Information:

This listing contains ALL Jules Verne Encyclopedia bibliographic entries for this book.

French:

La science en famille. Un voyage en ballon. (Réponse à l'énigme de juillet.)
Musée des familles, seconde série,
vol. 8, no. 11  (August 1851),
pp. 329-336 
5 illustrations by A. de Bar, two chapters.

To the left, and example of a bound volume, with Page 329 and Page 336

Images courtesy of Philip Hollaway

1852 - May (on newstands by at least April 20)

First English Appearance of a Jules Verne story - EVER:
First US Edition:


Above 1852 leather + gilt vol x + xii (!)
Below is another example of the Sartains Magazine which contains the story, bound into a volume

................

Title Page .......... First Story Page (pg389)

***This is the 1st appearance of a Jules Verne story in the English Language, EVER***

Jules Verne Encyclopedia:
"The May 1852 issue of Sartain's Union Magazine of Literature and Art, which was published monthly in Philadelphia, contained A Voyage in a Balloon, translated by Amme T. Wilbur, on pages 389 to 395. This first English translation of Un Voyage en Ballon (1851) ... This was apparently the first time Verne ever appeared in English."

A Voyage in a Balloon 
IN: Sartain's Union Magazine of Literature and Art, 
1852, May
Philadelphia

Vol X, No. 5,
pgs 389-395,
0 illustrations, two chapters.

Translated from the French by Anne T. Wilbur

The Text starts:
" In the month of September, 1850, I arrived at Frankfort-on-the-Maine. My passage through the principal cities of Germany, had been brilliantly marked by aerostatic ascensions; ..."

And ends:
"May this terrific recital, while it instructs those who read it, not discourage the explorers of the routes of air."

Note, though the story itself lists Jules Verne as the author, the index states: "By Anne T. Wilbur"

When was the May issue of Sartains available?
(and the answer is important!)

The May issue was available at least by April 20, 1852

The below Newsstand ad, was published on April 20, 1852, page 4, in the Richmond Dispatch, Richmond Virginia, announcing that the May Sartain's Magazine was now available.

Bound copy Collection Andrew Nash

***This is the 1st appearance of a Jules Verne story in the English Language, EVER***

1852 - July 31

First UK Edition:


Above is an example of the Working Man's Friend Magazine, which contains the story,  bound into a volume

.........
Title Page ................ Story First Page (pg282)

***This is the 1st appearance of a Jules Verne story in the UK, EVER***

Jules Verne Encyclopedia:
"The July 31, 1852 issue of The Working Man's Friend and Family Instructor, a one penny double column weekly from England, contained Voyage in a Balloon, from the Wilbur translation, on pages 282 to 286. This story was later retitled Un Drame dans les airs (1874), or A Drama in the Air, for book publication."

Voyage in a Balloon
IN: The Working Man's Friend and Family Instructor
1852, July 31
New Series - Vol II., No. 44,
London

pgs 282-286,
0 illustrations, two chapters.

Translated by Anne T. Wilbur

The Text starts:
" In the month of September, 1850, I arrived at  Frankfort-on-the-Maine. My passage through the principal cities of Germany, had been brilliantly marked by aerostatic ascensions; ..."

And ends:
"May this terrible recital, while it instructs those who read it, not discourage the explorers of the routes of the air!"

Note, that neither the index nor the story identifies the translator.
This is a reprint of the  Anne T. Wilbur translation.

Bound copy Collection Andrew Nash

***This information published here,
 April 1, 2021***

2nd U.S. publication?

1852 - April 22 - Chapter 1
1852 - April 29 - Chapter 2

***This information published here,
 April 1, 2021***

The short story, published over 2 weeks as Chapters 1 & 2

Ed: Although the date of the first chapter is April 22, the Sartains Above RETAINS the crown as the FIRST English publication of a Jules Verne story, because an advertisement indicates Sartains was on the newsstands April 20, 1852

[From Sartain's Union Magazine for May]
A Voyage in a Balloon: Chapter I
1852, Thursday April 22
(Published Weekly)
Vol. III No. 29
The Brandon Post
Brandon, Vermont

By Jules Verne

Translated from the French by Anne T. Wilbur

page 1 (3 columns) + page 2 (1 column)

[From Sartain's Union Magazine for May]
A Voyage in a Blaloon: Chapter II .. Ed: Yes, a typo in the Title
1852, Thursday April 29
(Published Weekly)
Vol. III No. 30
The Brandon Post
Brandon, Vermont

By Jules Verne

Translated from the French by Anne T. Wilbur

page 1 (3 columns) + page 2 (1 column)

 Other Editions:

***This information published here,
 April 1, 2021***

1852 - September 4

***This information published here,
 April 1, 2021***

A Voyage in a Balloon
IN: The Home Companion
A Weekly Magazine of the Amusing and the Useful

1852, Saturday September 4
No. 36 Vol. I
Published at 69. Fleet Street
London

Price One Penny

Pages 751 to 754
1 Illustration

Note on Vol 1 No 1:
First Impression of 500,000 Gratis;
Subsequent Numbers, 1d

Ed: The magazine and the story does NOT credit Jules Verne, OR Sartain's Magazine.

***This information published here,
 April 1, 2021***

1852 - September 24

***This information published here,
 April 1, 2021***

A Balloon Adventure
1852, September 24
Vol. XXVII - No. 1322
The North Wales Chronicle
and Advertiser for the Principality
Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales

Byline: Home Companion

Price fivepence

Page 3

This short story is published in 1 block
(no paragraph breaks)
in the "Literary Extracts" column.
It is the end of A Voyage in a Balloon - About 8 paragraphs!

The Text starts:
"The balloon entirely unballasted, we were borne to incredible heights...."

**** This information Published here, April 19, 2020 ****

1861

**** This information Published here, April 19, 2020 ****

***Not mentioned in the Jules Verne Encyclopedia.

Uncredited to Jules Verne OR Anne T. Wilbur

A Voyage in a Balloon
IN: The Sixpenny Magazine
A Miscellany for All Classes and All Seasons

1861
Volume 1, Page 514 to 520
Ward and Lock
158, Fleet Street
London

Wilmer and Rogers
New York

1894


Jules Verne Encyclopedia:
"In 1894, A Drama in the Air was published in Twenty Complete Novelettes by Popular Authors."

A Drama in the Air
IN:
Twenty Complete Novelettes
By Popular Authors

1894, August
F M Lupton
106 and 108 Reade St.
New York

No. 33 - Special Number

Price, 25 cents

The People's Handbook Series

The Text begins:
"In the month of September, 185_, I arrived at Frankfort-on-the-Main. My passage through the principal German cities hae been brilliantly marked by balloon ascents; but as yet no German had accompanied me in my car, ..."

Story begins on Page 115

NOT in English, BUT used as a "Learn to read French" volume with extensive notes re French words and phrases

Un Drame dans les air
Arnold's French Reading Books
nd (inscribed 1876, but doodling?!)
Edward Arnold
41 & 43 Maddox Street, Bond Street West
London

Arnold's French Reading Books

Edited with Notes Vocablary etc.
by I. G. Lloyd-Jones
Assistant Master at Upingham School

General Editor (of the series): L von Glehn

1926, November


Jules Verne Encyclopedia:
"The November 1926 issue of Amazing Stories carried "A Drama in the Air."

A Drama in the Air
IN: Amazing Stories
1926 - Nov, Vol 1 No. 8
Park Place
New York

1 illustration
pgs 758 to 765, in 2 column format

The Text begins:
"In the month of September, 185_, I arrived at Frankfort-on-the-Main. My passage through the principal German cities hae been brilliantly marked by balloon ascents; but as yet no German had accompanied me in my car, ..."

There is an introduction in the middle of page 759.

Introduction:
"This was one of the very first stories published by our well-known author, appearing soon after 1850. It is perhaps not of the fine quality of some of Verne's later works, but it is a little gem in itself, because, without a doubt, it holds your interest, short as it is, has plenty of excitement and a good deal of action. More-over, it is not only probable, but in a newspaper account some years ago, the identical thing happened in a slightly different setting. It probably will happen again. We know that you will like A Drama in the Air."

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