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The Blockade Runners

Jules Verne

Book Overview: 

Writing at the end of the American Civil War, Verne weaves this story of a Scottish merchant who, in desperation at the interruption of the flow of Southern cotton due to the Union blockade, determines to build his own fast ship and run guns to the Confederates in exchange for the cotton piling up unsold on their wharves. His simple plan becomes complicated by two passengers who board his new ship under false pretenses in order to carry out a rescue mission, one which Capt. Playfair adopts as his own cause. This is going make the Rebels in Charleston rather unhappy with him.

Sure, his new ship is fast - but can it escape the cannonballs of both North and South?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .d together on the forecastle, while the former remarked to his nephew, “This is well, this is well; before two o’clock we shall be at sea, and I have a good opinion of a voyage which begins like this.”

For reply the novice pressed Crockston’s hand.

James Playfair then gave the orders for departure.

“Have we pressure on?” he asked of his mate.

“Yes, Captain,” replied Mr. Mathew.

“Well, then, weigh anchor.”

This was immediately done, and the screws began to move. The Dolphin trembled, passed between the ships in the port, and soon disappeared from the sight of the people, who shouted their last hurrahs.

The descent of the Clyde was easily accomplished, one might almost say that this river had been made by the hand of man, and even by the hand of a master. For sixty years, thanks to the dredges and constant dragging, it has gained fifteen feet in depth, and its breadth has bee. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Not one of Verne's better stories. Perhaps the children liked it.

Never underestimate the persuasive powers of a beautiful woman! The Blockade Runners isn't exactly a story most people would attribute to Jules Verne. This short story is about James Playfair and his exploits in breaking the Union blockade around Charleston Harbor. He proposes to his uncle Vince Pla

Wow... I've never rated a Jules Verne story so low, but this one was pretty underwhelming. The story takes place during the American Civil War, and there are some interesting cultural tidbits to appreciate, such as British outside views toward the diverse factions, Confederate viewpoints and the bia

Didn't particularly care for it, though the idea was intriguing. Started out with some interest, but when the girl appears and changes the book from a pro-confederate to a pro-yankee book, it begins to go down hill from there.

James Playfair has convince his uncle, a Scottish merchant, to build a fast blockade runner to get past Union ships to buy the prized cotton from Southern ports. The American Civil War has made getting imports difficult and the younger Playfair doesn't mind crossing the sea and dodging ships to snea

The Blockade Runners, is from the father of Science fiction. It comes across as an escape from the usual writing of the time. We are able to learn so much about his writing that we can use today.
The book starts off with a lengthy scene setting, which is very common for the era. If you do want to rea

Exciting adventure, and sweet romance. One of Verne's better novellas.
Definately worth a read!

#8 Extraordinary Voyages

This is a very enjoyable seafaring adventure, a short story by Jules Verne, first published in 1871. Set in 1862 in Glasgow, Scotland, the Dolphin is a large ship specially designed for superior speed. An immense crowd is gathered for the launch due to the aura of mystery an

good read, stupids!

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