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Jules Verne: An Imaginative Genius Who Changed Literature


Jules Verne was a renowned French author and futurist who pioneered the science fiction genre. Through his extraordinary vision and skillful writing, he opened readers‘ eyes to the wonders of technology and the possibilities of the future.

Verne captured the spirit of an optimistic time when it seemed anything could be achieved through scientific ingenuity. His enduring popularity and influence show that his stories remain as captivating today as when he wrote them in the 19th century.

Jules Verne Profile

Full Name Jules Gabriel Verne
Birthday February 8, 1828
Age 77 years (1828 – 1905)
Birth Sign Aquarius
Born Nantes, France
Death Date March 24, 1905
Relationship Married to Honorine de Viane Morel
Height 5‘4" (163 cm)
Net Worth Estimated up to $2 million at death
Social Profiles Website, Facebook, Twitter

Early Life Develops Wanderlust and Imagination

Jules Verne was born in the busy seaport of Nantes, France in 1828. As a child, Verne had a wanderlust fueled by reading adventure stories and watching ships arrive from exotic destinations. He snuck aboard ships to imaginary distant shores beyond the horizon.

Verne moved to Paris in 1847 to study law at his father‘s insistence. But his heart wasn‘t in dusty law books. He found himself drawn to literature and the theater. Verne began writing short comedy plays in his free time.

After receiving his law degree in 1851, Verne took a day job as a stockbroker. This gave him financial security to pursue writing. He rose early each morning to work on stories before heading to the stock exchange.

Big Breakthrough Working With Hetzel Publishing

In 1857, Jules Verne met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, an enterprising publisher who would launch his career. Verne gave Hetzel the manuscript for his debut novel Five Weeks in a Balloon. Hetzel recognized Verne‘s talent for thrilling science-driven adventure and published the book in 1863.

The novel follows a light-hearted expedition across Africa in a balloon, with narrow escapes from danger at every turn. Five Weeks in a Balloon became a smash hit and bestseller. This marked the beginning of an immensely productive collaboration between Verne and Hetzel‘s publishing house.

For the rest of his career, Verne contracted to publish two books a year with Hetzel. The deal allowed Verne to become a full-time author and take his writing to new heights of imagination.

Classic Sci-Fi Novels That Inspired Generations

Some of Verne‘s most popular sci-fi titles published with Hetzel include:

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) – A professor leads an expedition down an Icelandic volcano to explore the unknown depths below.
  • From the Earth to the Moon (1865) – Members of a post-Civil War gun club construct a giant cannon to launch themselves to the moon.
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) – A strange giant sea creature is revealed to be a highly advanced submarine, the Nautilus, helmed by the mysterious Captain Nemo.
  • Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) – A gentleman named Phileas Fogg attempts to travel across the globe in under 80 days on a bet.

These stories fused rip-roaring adventure with pioneering science fiction concepts. Verne reveled in conjuring up futuristic submarines, spacecraft, and other innovations decades before they became reality. He awed readers with his technological prophecies.

Lasting Popularity and Acclaim

During his lifetime, Jules Verne achieved great fame and success. By his death in 1905, his books were translated into numerous languages and devoured by readers internationally.

But more than just a popular author, Verne inspired generations of writers. Sci-fi pioneers including H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clarke all owed a debt to Verne for paving the way for their own futuristic works.

Beyond fiction, Verne motivated real-world scientific advancement. Engineers were spurred by Verne‘s vivid descriptions of submarines and rockets to make them a reality. He demonstrated science fiction‘s power to captivate while spreading knowledge and optimism about human progress.

Later Years: Politics and Playwriting

In his later years, Jules Verne settled down in the provincial town of Amiens with his wife Honorine. He entered politics, serving on Amiens‘ city council. Verne also continued writing theatre.

His science fiction output slowed, but he published the darker dystopian novel Paris in the Twentieth Century in 1994, along with the adventure tale The Lighthouse at the End of the World (1905).

On March 24, 1905, Jules Verne died aged 77, leaving behind an unparalleled literary legacy. His pioneering works had laid the foundations of modern science fiction and inspired future generations to imagine, dream, and create.

10 Fascinating Facts About Jules Verne

  1. Verne woke up at 4 AM each day to work on stories before his 9-5 job as a stockbroker.
  2. He served on city council in Amiens, France from 1888-1903.
  3. Verne‘s tomb in Amiens is decorated with a sculpture of him emerging from a tombstone.
  4. His first published story was the comic opera The Broken Straws in 1850.
  5. Verne believed his English translations took too many liberties. Two "translations" were rewritten by the publisher.
  6. He accurately predicted electric submarines, skywriting, and other future technologies.
  7. Verne‘s writing was influenced by scientist Jean Macé who encouraged science in fiction.
  8. Around the World in 80 Days made globetrotting a popular leisure activity.
  9. A giant squid that attacked his antihero Nemo inspired 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  10. Over 200 films have adapted Verne‘s works, more than any other author.

Why Jules Verne Remains Relevant Today

Today, Jules Verne remains one of sci-fi‘s most revered and influential authors. What makes his work still relevant in the modern age?

  • He made complex scientific concepts understandable through engaging fiction.
  • His futuristic visions inspired generations of engineers and inventors.
  • Verne opened reader‘s eyes to the wonders of travel and discovery.
  • He combined thrilling adventures with thoughtful social commentary.
  • Verne shaped sci-fi into the culture-defining genre it is today.
  • His cautionary tales reveal the pros and cons of technological advancement.

Verne‘s imaginative stories have stood the test of time. They remind us to approach the future with humanity, wisdom, and care. Modern readers continue to find inspiration in Verne‘s work much like readers did over a century ago.


In his pioneering novels, Jules Verne opened doors to worlds never before imagined. His writing captured the spirit of an optimistic era when it seemed science could accomplish anything.

Verne didn‘t just foresee amazing inventions, he changed how people saw the future‘s possibilities. His lasting influence on literature, technology, and culture is immense. Verne proved sci-fi could stimulate minds while retaining a sense of wonder.

Nearly two centuries later, Verne‘s ingenious stories still light fires in the imagination. Generations of writers and dreamers continue following the trail he blazed. There‘s no doubt Jules Verne deserves his title as the legendary "Father of Science Fiction".