We’ve just been sent a great new review of Jules Verne’s Mikhail Strogoff, which will be appearing in Vol 60 of the prestigious journal, The French Australian Review. Written by Dr Patricia Clancy, a highly respected academic, French literature expert and professional translator, the review is not available online(though you can purchase copies of the issue in which it appears) but below is a short extract from it.
Stephanie Smee has given us the first new translation of this novel for a century. The first two were heavy, wordy and very nineteenth-century, which did not do justice to Verne’s much more vivid and lively style. While retaining the generally more formal tone of a historical novel, Smee has smartened the pace by cleverly incorporating footnotes into the text and choosing a simpler, more evocative vocabulary.
The book itself is a delight to read and to look at. Its relatively small format is also very comfortable to hold. My review copy is one of a limited edition of 750, which has been released well before general commercial publication. It is a handsome hard-cover that looks like a nineteenth-century book with gold foil lettering and embellishments on the cover. Inside there are pages of quality cream paper, a coloured map of Mikhail’s journey as endpapers and a satin ribbon bookmark—all in all, a fine gift for any lover of novels of high adventure.