Translated from the French by Anne T. Wilbur.
e easily managed; the network, which encloses the fabric of the balloon, and prevents its being too heavily pressed; the ballast, which is used in ascending and choosing the spot of descent; the coat of caoutchouc, which renders the silk impermeable; the barometer, which determines the height attained; and, finally, the hydrogen, which, fourteen times lighter than air, allows of ascension to the most distant atmospheric layers, and prevents exposure to aerial combustion. On the 1st of December, 1783, three hundred thousand spectators thronged the Tuileries. Charles ascended, and the soldiers presented arms. He travelled nine leagues in the air: managing his machine with a skill never since surpassed in aeronautic experiments. The King conferred on him a pension of two thousand livres, for in those days inventions were encouraged. In a few days, the subscription list was filled; for every one was interested in the progress of science."
The unknown was seized with a violent agitation.
"I, Monsieur, have s
Maclean's writing did run hot and cold, and tordaws the end he mainly ran cold.On the other hand the brace of Maclean titles that Robert B listed are worth reading. I particularly liked "When Eight Bells Toll" when I read it a decade a go.Derek Robinson wrote an excellent Battle of Britain story called "A Piece of Cake." The rest of his books are so so, but that one was excellent!
A thrilling short non-fiction narrative of Jules Verne's voyage into the atmosphere with a complete madman determined to commit suicide by ascension. A must read. (30 pgs)