Emilio Salgari (born 1862 in Verona, died 1911 in Turin) is the most famous author of literature for young people. Reading his novels a lot of people may think of the novels of Jules Vernes when reading a novel of Emilio Salgari. The similarity is not very suggestive in each novel of Emilio Salgari but it is suggestive in this one. The techniques used in the ballon are very sophisticated, the project very ambitious for the coevals of Emilio Salgari (crossing the atlantic ocean in a ballon in a few days), some natural phenomena, like the appearence of the octopus very shocking. All that may induced to think of "Around the World in Eighty Days" of Jules Verne. Nevertheless Jules Verne (1828 – 1905) was almost fourty years elder. Salgari issued from a poor family. He wanted to become a captain but didn' t pass the final exams. His real maritime experiences are restricted to a voyage on board of the "Italia Una" where he worked as a ship' s boy. But he left the ship at Brindisi. Emilio Salagari was very successful. His first work, "I selvaggi della Papuasia", published in 1883 in the newspaper La Valigia was already a success.
We eliminated parts of the novel where the word "negro" appears. This is despective word in spanish to denominate people with dark skin. There is no racism in the novel, but it is supposed that Emilio Salgari didn' t speak spanish at all and did not really know the meaning of this word in this context.