Jules Verne was born 190 years ago

Jules Verne circa 1878
Jules Verne circa 1878

Jules Gabriel Verne was born on February 8, 1828 in Nantes, France.

Jules Verne studied law because his father wanted that but as a boy he started writing short stories and poems and wanted to be a writer. He went to Paris to finish his studies in 1848 but that was the period of the French revolution of 1848, also known as February Revolution. The young Verne took the opportunity to get in touch with the city’s literary circles.

Thanks to his new contacts, Jules Verne started writing booklets for stage plays and in 1850 he decided to become a professional writer despite his father’s attempts to dissuade him. His marriage with Honorine de Viane Morel, a wealthy widow, in 1857 assured him financial help but the relationship with his wife caused him various problems.

In the course of his activity as a writer, Jules Verne produced works of various genres but only in 1863 he published the novel “Five weeks in a balloon” (“Cinq semaines en ballon”). The author put together various adventurous elements that characterized his production that put together a sense of wonderful and detailed technical-scientific descriptions.

This work is the first of “The Extraordinary Journeys” (“Voyages extraordinaires”), a series of novels published between 1863 and 1905 that include the most famous of Jules Verne: “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (“Voyage au center de la Terre “) of 1864, “From the Earth to the Moon” (“De la Terre à la Lune”) of 1865, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas” (“Vingt mille lieues sous les mers”) of 1869/1870, “Around the world in Eighty days” (“Le tour du monde en quatre-vingt jours”) of 1873, “Michael Strogoff” (“Michel Strogoff”) of 1876, “Robur the conqueror” (“Robur le conquérant”) of 1886 and its sequel “Master of the world” (“Maître du monde”) of 1904 are some examples.

In some cases those are adventures in the past and in exotic places but some of Jules Verne’s most famous novels made him one of the fathers of modern science fiction. The author foresaw various developments of aerospace, submarine and other technologies, so much that he’s considered in particular the precursor of hard science fiction.

At the beginning of the 20th century Jules Verne suffered from some serious health problems, including diabetes. Together with his family he had moved to Amiens, where he died on March 24, 1905. Some of his works were published posthumously. For years he was considered above all an author of works for kids and his merits were particularly appreciated by fans of science fiction, a genre that started developing in its modern meaning in the following decades. This author’s importance was fully recognized only with the passage of time.

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