• List Price: $29.95
  • Save: $6.07 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Centenarian: Or, The ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Centenarian: Or, The Two Beringhelds (Early Classics of Science Fiction) Hardcover – July 10, 2006

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$21.71 $3.68

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
$23.88 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This excellent, scholarly edition provides the first English translation of an obscure, early Balzac work (1822). A mix of gothic elements, romance and SF, this disjointed novel is a mishmash of stories set in different time frames, loosely linked by the two characters of the title—the Centenarian father and his illegitimate son Tullius, or General Beringheld. The monstrous, immortal father—who sustains his powers by extracting the life-essence from young people—is the novel's central figure, but Tullius's diaries form the main story. Born centuries after his father was born, Tullius, who later grows up to become a much-decorated general in Napoleon's army, searches for the Centenarian, a quest punctuated with love stories, including that of Tullius and the innocent Marianine. This improbable tale reveals a writer seeking a voice and will appeal to scholarly readers interested in the early history of science fiction and its origins in 19th-century French popular literature. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"An afterword offers an insightful discussion of the novel as an adumbration of many masterpieces and characters in other of Balzac's acknowledged creations. Perhaps most interesting, the translators make the case that The Centenarian lays the philosophical foundation of Balzac's 'science' (including Mesmer), which brought a number of his geniuses to failure. All of this, along with the excellent translation (with its appropriate footnotes), makes this an enchanting and worthwhile publication. Highly recommended."―Choice

"With the publication of the first English translation of Balzac's disavowed 1822 novel, the Wesleyan 'Early Classics of Science Fiction' series continues to rewrite the history of the genre. The work is...undeniably fascinating both as a luminal science-fiction text occupying the mostly uncharted cusp between supernatural gothicism and 19th-century science and, with a cliff-hanger ending in the catacombs of Paris, as early hack-work by the writer soon to be the leading example of French social realism. ...The translation also includes helpful notes and an afterword that intriguingly suggests how this early novel may presage some of Balzac's later characters and themes."―Library Journal website

“The Centenarian is remarkable in its exploration of then-new scientific concepts and then-current themes (including those common to Gothic novels), and for its anticipation of elements of future SF as well.”―INFODAD.COM

Hero Quick Promo
Today Only: Up to 80% Off Popular Summer Reads on Kindle
Today only, get books by Jhumpa Lahiri, Brad Meltzer, Amy Tan, Jane Green, and more at up to 80% off. Learn more

Product Details

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Share your thoughts with other customers

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Centenarian: Or, The Two Beringhelds (Early Classics of Science Fiction)
This item: The Centenarian: Or, The Two Beringhelds (Early Classics of Science Fiction)
Price: $23.88
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com