Two Years' Vacation

Two Years' Vacation (French: Deux ans de vacances) is an adventure novel by Jules Verne, published in 1888. The story tells of the fortunes of a group of schoolboys stranded on a deserted island in the South Pacific, and of their struggles to overcome adversity. In his preface to the book, Verne explains that his goals were to create a Robinson Crusoe-like environment for children, and to show the world what the intelligence and bravery of a child were capable of when put to the test.

Two Years' Vacation
'Two Years' Vacation' by Léon Benett 01.jpg
AuthorJules Verne
Original titleDeux ans de vacances
IllustratorLéon Benett
SeriesThe Extraordinary Voyages #32
GenreAdventure novel
PublisherPierre-Jules Hetzel
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Preceded byThe Flight to France 
Followed byFamily Without a Name 

Plot summaryEdit

Map of "Chairman Island"

The story takes place in March 1860 and opens with a group of schoolboys aged between eight and fourteen on board a 100-ton schooner called the Sleuth moored at Auckland, New Zealand, and preparing to set off on a six-week vacation. With the exception of the oldest boy Gordon, an American, and Briant and Jack, two French brothers, all the boys are British.

While the schooner's crew are ashore, the moorings are cast-off under unknown circumstances and the ship drifts to sea, where it is caught by a storm. Twenty-two days later, the boys find themselves cast upon the shore of an uncharted island, which they name "Chairman Island." They go on many adventures and even catch wild animals while trying to survive. They remain there for the next two years until a passing ship sinks in the close vicinity of the island. The ship had been taken over by mutineers, intent on trafficking slaves. With the aid of two of the surviving members of the original crew, the boys are able to defeat the mutineers and make their escape from the island, which they find out is close to the Chilean coast (Hanover-Island located at 50°56’ S, 74°47’ W).


As with most of Verne's works, it was serialized (in twenty-four parts between January and December 1888) in the "Extraordinary Journeys" section of the French Magasin d’Éducation et de Récréation by the Parisian publisher Hetzel. It was also published in book form in two volumes in June and early November of that year. An illustrated double volume with a color map and a preface by Verne was released in late November.

Translations and adaptationsEdit

  • An English translation of the book was serialized in 36 installments in the Boy's Own Paper between 1888 and 1889.
  • In 1889 a two-volume English-language book titled A Two Year's Vacation was published by Munro in the United States. Later the same year, a single-volume abridged edition in the United Kingdom was released by Sampson Low under the title of Adrift in the Pacific.
  • In 1890, from February 22 through March 14, the Boston Daily Globe newspaper serialized Adrift in the Pacific; the Strange Adventures of a Schoolboy Crew.
  • In 1896, Morita Shiken translated it to the Japanese language as Jugo shonen (十五少年: it means 15 boys) from the English text. [1]
  • In 1962 Emilio Gomez Muriel directed a Spanish-Mexican film, featuring Pablito Calvo in the main role. [2]
  • In 1964 Turkish Filmmaker Yilmaz Atadeniz produced this movie titled as Iki Sene Mektep Tatili."
  • In 1965 the I. O. Evens version of the Sampson Low translation was published in England (ARCO) and the U.S. (Associated Publishers) in two volumes: Adrift in the 11Pacific and Second Year Ashore.
  • In 1967 a new modified and abridged translation by Olga Marx with illustrations by Victor Ambrus titled A Long Vacation was published by Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom and Holt, Rinehart & Winston in the United States.
  • In 1967 Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman made a live-action/animated film adaptation under the title Ukradená vzducholod ("The Stolen Airship", released worldwide[3] as Two Years' Vacation), loosely based on Jules Verne's novels Two Years' Vacation and The Mysterious Island.
  • In 1969 an Australian film produced, directed and written by Mende Brown entitled Strange Holiday credited Jules Verne for the story.[4]
  • The 1974 four-part T.V. series Deux ans de vacances [fr] was produced in a cooperation of French, Belgian, Swiss, West-German and Romanian television.[5]
  • In 1982 a Japanese studio Toei Animation made an anime adaptation under the title of Adrift in the Pacific (Japanese: 十五少年漂流記).
  • In 1987 a made-for-TV animation was produced by the Japanese studio Nippon Animation under the title of The Story of Fifteen Boys (Japanese: 十五少年漂流記).
  • In 2001 the book was redistributed by CLE International to help learners be immersed in French
  • The book became the story for different anime series like Ginga Hyōryū Vifam, Kyōryū Bōkenki Jura Tripper, Infinite Ryvius, Mujin Wakusei Survive and Astra Lost in Space.

In popular cultureEdit

Deux Ans de Vacances is the first book Shiori Shiomiya reads from the shelves of the school library during a flashback to her childhood in the anime The World God Only Knows.

The struggles for survival and dominance amongst the boys were to be echoed in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, published in 1954.

The novel was adapted as a Polish comic book titled Dwa lata wakacji (Two Years' Vacation) in 1984.


  1. ^ ジュウールス・ヴェルヌ 著, 森田思軒 訳『十五少年』 in National Diet Library in Digital Collection (Japanese).
  2. ^ "Dos años de vacaciones (1962)".
  3. ^ "Ukradená vzducholod (1967) - IMDb".
  4. ^ "Strange Holiday (1970) - IMDb".
  5. ^ "Two Years' Vacation (TV Mini Series 1974) - IMDb".


External linksEdit

  Works related to Two Years' Vacation at Wikisource   Media related to Two Years' Vacation at Wikimedia Commons