Going to moon, a balloon trip around the world, adventure under the sea,all this in the late 1800s? All this was possible in the writings of Jules Verne.
Jules Verne was born in Nantes on February 8, 1828. He had a vivid imaginationand as a child, he often sailed down the Loire River with his brother. He alwayswondered about air and undersea travel. In the 1800s, none of these advanceswere discovered.
His father was a lawyer and wanted young Verne to be one, too. Jules wassent to Paris to study law and while he was there, he became interested inliterature. He graduated with a degree in law in 1850. Jules began to write andgive private law lessons in Paris. His father voiced some concern in pursuingliterature as well as law.
When Jules was in his young 20s, he wrote operettas librettos for about 2years while continuing to practice law. He was appointed as the Secretary of theTheatre Lyrique in Paris. He made some letters to his mother commenting on hisshabby clothes compared to the clothes poets there. He started to become a verybusy people.
Verne was married on January 10, 1857 to Honorine de Viane. He only had 1child, a boy named Michel, who was born on August 3, 1861. Verne also had 2stepdaughters, Valentine, and Suzanne. Michel grew up to be a very disobedientchild. Verne tried many means of stopping this delinquency. He put Michel injail in an attempt to stop the “madness”. He was really unhappy over his son’sbehavior problem. Late 1879, Verne ended up throwing Michel out of the house.
Michel ran off and married an actress. In 1887, he attended and recognizedMichel’s second marriage which helped in reviving the relationship betweenfather and son.
Jules Verne was an avid traveler and sailor. He visited many places withhis brother, Paul. Paul helped Verne in many technical parts of his novel. In1859, he and Paul made a summer trip to Scotland. Verne was very impressed byScotland as a whole and it became the setting in one of Verne’s novels. He alsovisited North America for a week. He visited New York, Buffalo, Niagara Falls,Toronto. He loved America and was very sad that he was never going to come again.
Verne owned 3 boats, a sailboat, a sailing yacht, and a stem yacht. They werechristened Saint-Michel 1, Saint-Michel 2, and Saint-Michel 3, respectively. Heloved sailing and visited many place of Europe with his beloved boats.
In 1869, Verne moved to Le Crotoy. His family liked this seaside town andit was less burden on Verne’s paycheck. This was where his boats were docked,even after they moved again to Verne’s next and final homeplace, Amiens in 1872.
Even though he was famous, he contributed to his community in many way alot of times. He received the Legion Of Honor, a French order of Meritinstituted by Napoleon in 1802. It recognizes people for achievement in civil ormilitary life . He acquired the Honor only days before the Franco-Prussian War.
In Amiens, he was elected to different positions in the town legislature. In1872, he was voted into the Acadmie d’Amiens, a local learned society. He wasalso elected to the Town Council of Amiens when he was 60. He said “My sole aimis to make myself useful.” He was very active in his life.
1863 marked the beginning of a new genre in literature. “Five Weeks in aBalloon” appeared in bookstores. It became the first science-fiction bookpublished. The publisher, Jules Hetzel, and Verne had started a friendship thatwas to last for life when Hetzel accepted “Five Weeks in a Balloon”. “Five Weeksin a Balloon” became an instant success. It quickly soared to the best-sellerlist in both the children’s and adult’s market. He started working on otherbooks after the success of his first book. He also took a job in Hetzel’scompany. He was always a very busy man. Verne’s books were some of the mostpopular of his time. What he writes about air travel back then is what we hearabout space travel nowadays. He also started the dreams of traveling to thebottom of the ocean and venturing deep to the center of the Earth.
Some of his most popular books were: “Five Weeks in a Balloon” (1863), “AJourney to the Center of the Earth” (1864), “The Mysterious Island” (1870),”Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” (1870), his most popular, “Around theWorld in Eighty Days” (1872), and “Michael Strogoff” (1876).
“Around the World in Eighty Days” was about Phileas Fogg and his servantPassepartout traveling around, visiting London, Paris, Brindisi, Suez, Bombay,and other places. All of Jules Verne’s books give his readers a way to imagineabout things they’ve never seen, such as airplanes, submarines and spaceships.
Places, people never thought of going to and have never been, for example, themoon, the center of the earth, and the bottom of the ocean. Some of his bookshave been made into numerous plays and movies. “Twenty Thousand Leagues Underthe Sea” and “Around the World in Eighty Days” have been adapted a lot of timesby various movie companies.
March, 1886 marked the beginning when Verne’s life began to fall apart. Hewas shot in the foot by his nephew and had a permanent limp as a result. Hisgreat friend and publisher, Jules Hetzel passed away on March 17, 1886. Hismother died next, in February of 1887. He was very sad over the death of motheras that marked the fact that both his parents were gone. He became furtherimmobilized in June, 1893, when he had to battle attacks of dizziness, leg andeye problems. His immediate family as a youth all left him with the death of hismuch loved brother, Paul in 1897.
At the turn of the century, Verne stayed as an active person andcontinued to write, even with age and illness. March 24, 1905, his family wereall with him as he lived his last day of his life. 4 days later, he was buriedat La Madeleine in Amiens. With the burial, the world lost the “Father ofScience Fiction”, a great writer and a prophet. Category: Music and Movies