I am thrilled to be part of an exciting publishing project: bringing back to English-speaking readers what many have called the best adventure novel ever written, the legendary French writer Jules Verne’s great book, Mikhail Strogoff. It will be the first English translation in over a hundred years!
First published in France in 1876 in Verne’s Extraordinary Voyages series, under the title of Michel Strogoff, the novel was an immediate hit with readers and has never been out of print in France and indeed in many other countries. But after the first English translation, published in the same year as the book, there has not been another full English translation of this classic, rip-roaring tale of adventure set in Tsarist Russia, and the original translation is stodgy and dated for modern tastes. Indeed, it does not capture the lively, sharp, immediate quality of the original work, which is perhaps why there hasn’t been another translation and why English-speaking readers have missed out on what so many other people in other countries have enjoyed!
All that is set to change with the publication by Eagle Books of a brand new translation by the fabulous translator and writer, Stephanie Smee. Mikhail Strogoff, as it will be titled, will appear in early 2016 and right at the moment a fabulous crowdfunding campaign has just launched to help fund the production of a special limited edition of the novel to mark and celebrate this major publishing event. People can contribute and get their own special copy of this pre-commercial-release exclusive edition, which will be a gorgeous collectible hardcover book, illustrated in black and white and with many special features.
I’m delighted to be a part of the Eagle Books publishing team, (the new fiction imprint of Christmas Press) and thrilled that Mikhail Strogoff will be our launch title. It was my favourite book as a young reader and since then I have read and re-read it many times, thrilling every time to the extraordinary journey of the brave and determined Siberian, Mikhail Strogoff, courier of the Tsar, and his friends and family who join him on an adventure like no other, set in the exhilerating vastness and diversity of Russia. The book was a big influence on me, triggering a lifelong interest in Russia and its culture, but it always frustrated me that my English-speaking friends had no real access to it. It is truly a dream come true to be helping to bring back this amazing novel back to English-speaking readers!