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Herstmonceux Generating Station in 2018



The Steam House is also a historic monument located in Herstmonceux Sussex, just a few miles from Rudyard Kipling's house; 'Batemans,' at Burwash. Strange that a famous author of books about India, such as the "Jungle Book," should be so closely sited. Kipling died in the same year that electricity generation ceased in Herstmonceux; 1936. Jules Verne passed away in 1905, just as Charles de Roemer was developing his distribution system in the village. For sure, Rudyard Kipling and Charles de Roemer knew each other, as electricity innovators. Charles also passed in the thirties.


What with Verne predicting that hydrogen would be the fuel of the future, these authors are kindred spirits of sorts, despite one living in France and the others in England. Jules Verne was a frequent traveler to London and the south coast, and keen on keeping up with technological advances.




The Steam House Part 1


The Steam House Part 2



The inhabitants of the Steam House camp on a plateau in Terai. During a hunting expedition, they rescue Mathias Van Guitt, an animal purveyor, from his own trap. They visit the kraal of Van Guitt, where Colonel Munro is saved from a poisonous snake by one of Van Guitt's servants, Kalagni. The Steam House dwellers frequently visit the kraal and invite Van Guitt to the Steam House. Van Guitt tries to capture animals, while the inhabitants of the Steam House hunt animals. One night, tigers and other predatory animals attack the kraal.


The protagonists narrowly escape death but many Indian servants are killed. The buffaloes are either killed by animals or driven away into the jungle. Consequently, Van Guitt has the protagonists drag his caravan of cages to the nearest railway station. After reaching the station and loading his cargo, Van Guitt and the protagonists part ways. The protagonists employ Kalagni as guide and servants and head for Bombay through Central India. During the journey through jungles, they encounter a herd of monkeys and a grain transport caravan.


Kalagni meets an old acquaintance in the caravan and chats mysteriously with him. On their way to Jabalpur in the jungle, they are cornered and attacked by a herd of elephants, which results in the loss of the second carriage. To escape from the herd, Banks drives the Steam House into Lake Puturia. All the food and provisions are lost with the second carriage and after some time, the fuel is exhausted, resulting in the Steam House floating in the middle of the lake. Kalagni volunteers to swim to shore and fetch help. Colonel Munro, suspecting him, sends his faithful servant Gautami with him. Both swim to shore while the steam House slowly drift in the fog. As soon as they reach the shore, Kalagni meets Nassim, a follower of Nana, and tries to attack Goumi, who swiftly escapes.


With the morning breeze, the Steam House drifts towards the bank. As the protagonists land, they are attacked by a group of men led by Kalagni and Nassim who attack and kidnap Colonel Munro, leaving the others bonded with ropes. Colonel Munro is taken to an abandoned fort, where Nana Sahib shows up and reveals the reality of the news of his death. The dead person who was identified as Nana Sahib was actually his look-alike brother, Balao Rao. Due to their physical similarity, the British authorities mistook Balao Rao for Nana Sahib. Nana Sahib proclaims death for Colonel Munro To avenge death of his brother, members of the royal family of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II and other victims of British suppuration of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.


Colonel Munro is tied on the mouth of a large cannon, to be shot at sunrise. Nana leaves for a meeting in a nearby village. Near dawn, Munro is rescued by Goumi, who had hid himself inside the cannon after running away from Lake Puturia and overhearing the plans of the rebels. As they are escaping, they encounter Rowing Flame. Colonel Munro recognizes her as his wife Lady Munro, but she has lost her sanity and doesn't recognize him and refuses to go with him. Sparks from her torch cause the canon to go off.


Munro and Goumi escape with Lady Munro while the people in the fort are confused. But soon they are spotted by Kalagni and his men and encounter Nana Sahib on his way back to the fort. Goumi and Munro quickly overpowers Nana and his assistant. As they are being chased by the men led by Kalagni, they are rescued by other protagonists riding on Behemoth. They take Nana Sahib as prisoner and they are chased through the jungle. Capt Hood and Sgt. McNeil shoot down many of their adversaries, including Kalagni. As they near a military outpost, Banks supercharges the boiler and the protagonists escape the Behemoth, leaving bounded Nana Sahib inside the machine. As the men approach the machine, the boiler bursts, leaving everyone near it dead, although Nana's body is not found.


The protagonists are rescued by the stationed regiment as the rest of the insurgents flee to inner country. They head for Mumbai via railway and than to Calcutta. In the care of Colonel Munro, Lady Munro regains her sanity and memory. When Munro tells Hood about not being able to achieve his target of killing 50 tigers, Hood replies that Kalagni was his 50th tiger. 





The steam powered elephant and house on wheels



A house on locomotive wheels, is pulled by a mechanical steam powered elephant



Jules Verne was the author of many adventure stories:


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Full text Part 1, Part 2
Around the World in Eighty Days - Full text Index
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Full text Index
The Mysterious Island (Extraordinary Voyages #12) Full text Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
From the Earth to the Moon
Michael Strogoff (Extraordinary Voyages, #14)
In Search of the Castaways; or the Children of Captain Grant (Extraordinary Voyages, #5)
Five Weeks in a Balloon

Round the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #7)
10 Adrift in the Pacific: Two Years Holiday (Extraordinary Voyages, #32)
11 The Master of the World (Extraordinary Voyages, #53)
12 The Adventures of Captain Hatteras
13 Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine; The Tribulations of a Chinese in China (Extraordinary Voyages, #19)
14 The Lighthouse at the End of the World
15 Mathias Sandorf (Extraordinary Voyages, #27)
16 Off On A Comet (Extraordinary Voyages, #15)
17 Los quinientos millones de la Begún (The five hundred million of the Begún)
18 Facing the Flag (Extraordinary Voyages, #42)
19 Un capitán de quince años (A fifteen year old captain)
20 El Testamento de un excentrico (The Testament of an eccentric)




Jules Verne is also known as the Father of Science Fiction







Best known for '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' and Around The World In Eighty Days, Jules Verne also authored a number of other popular novels, that made it onto the big screen, such as 'The Mysterious Island,' and 'Journey To The Centre Of The World.'













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