The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 Written by Pierre Boitard
 from antiquity to 2017

a “mégathérion” from Boitard’s 1836 article

   “Paris avant les hommes”
English title: “Paris before Man” (translated from French)
by Pierre Boitard
First publication: Musée des Familles—Lectures du Soir, Jun 1836 (Part 1) and Nov 1837 (Part 2)

Everyone from Jules Verne to John Connor seems to know of Pierre Boitard’s edition of Paris avant les hommes published in 1861, two years after Boitard’s death. The 500-page tome tells the tale of a limping devil named Asmodeus who takes Boitard himself on a journey through Earth’s natural history.
What’s less well known is that 25 years earlier, Boitard’s initial version—yes, including the time-traveling Asmodeus—appeared as a 44-page, two-part article in the family magazine Musée des Familles—Lecture pour Tous. I stumbled upon this in Jean Le Loeuff’s November 2012 blog, Le Dinoblog.

 To this question, the devil burst into laughter, waking them. The female ran about on all fours, carrying under her belly the little ones, clinging with all their might; but the male uttered a fierce gutteral roar, fixed his eyes upon me, stood upright on his hind legs, and raising high his flint ax, rushed toward me with a furious leap, swinging the deadly weapon at my head.
At that moment, I uttered a cry of terror because I had no choice but to recognize exactly what kind of monster he was . . . He was a man.
 

—from the end of Part 1


Pierre Boitard, Master Traveller

This 1836 article is the earliest that I’ve spotted of a man traveling to the past. So cheers to Pierre and his well deserved Master Traveler Citation.



frontispiece from the 1861 book, engraved by Gustave Moreau after a drawing by Boitard

   Paris avant les hommes
English title: Paris before Man (translated from French)
by Pierre Boitard
First publication: 1861

Two years after Boitard’s death, a vastly expanded, 500-page version of his 1836/1838 pair of articles was published using the same title, Paris avant les hommes, and with the same time-traveling devil companion who takes Boitard back to prehistory.

 If only we were still in the time of fairies and genies, maybe I could find one good enough to tell me what the world, or only France, or Paris, or even just the Tuileries Gardens was like, ten or twelve thousand years ago, more or less. 


 


2 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)