Jules Gabriel Verne (February 8, 1828 – March 24, 1905) was a French author who pioneered the science-fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Journey to the Center of the Earth (written in 1864), From the Earth to the Moon (written in 1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (written in 1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (written in 1873). Vernewrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of space travel had been devised. He is the second most translated author of all time, only behind Agatha Christie with 4021 translations, according to Index Translationum. Some of his work has been made into films. Verne, along with H. G. Wells, is often referred to asthe "Father of Science Fiction".
Jules Gabriel Verne was born to Pierre Verne, and his wife, Sophie-Henriette Allotte de la Fuÿe (died 1887), in the bustling harbor city of Nantes in Western France. The oldest of five children, he spent his early years at home with his parents. The family spent summers in a country house just outside the city, on the banks of the Loire River.Jules and his brother Paul, of whom Jules was very fond, would often rent a boat for a franc a day. The sight of the many ships navigating the river sparked Jules' imagination, as he describes in the autobiographical short story "Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse". When Jules was nine, he and Paul were sent to boarding school at the Saint Donatien College (Petit séminaire de Saint-Donatien). As achild, he developed a great interest in travel and exploration, a passion he showed as a writer of adventure stories and science fiction.
At the boarding school, Verne studied Latin, which he used in his short story "Le Mariage de Monsieur Anselme des Tilleuls" in the mid-1850s. One of his teachers may have been the French inventor Brutus de Villeroi, professor of drawing and mathematics at SaintDonatien in 1842, and who later became famous for creating the US Navy's first submarine, the USS Alligator. De Villeroi may have inspired Verne's conceptual design for the Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, although no direct exchanges between the two men have been recorded.
After completing his studies at the lycée, Jules Verne went to Paris to study law.About 1848, in conjunction with Michel Carré, he began writing librettos for operettas. For some years his attentions were divided between the theatre and work, but some travelers' stories which he wrote for the Musée des Familles revealed to him his true talent: the telling of delightfully extravagant voyages and adventures to which cleverly prepared scientific and geographical details lent an air ofverisimilitude.
When Verne's father discovered that his son was writing rather than studying law, he promptly withdrew his financial support. Verne was forced to support himself as a stockbroker, which he hated despite being somewhat successful at it. During this period, he met Alexandre Dumas, père and Victor Hugo, who offered him writing advice. Dumas would become a close friend of Verne.Verne also met Honorine de Viane Morel, a widow with two daughters. They were married on January 10, 1857. With her encouragement, he continued to write and actively looked for a publisher. On August 3, 1861, their son, Michel Jean Verne, was born. A classic enfant terrible, Michel was sent to Mettray Penal Colony in 1876 and later married an actress (in spite of Verne's objections), had two childrenby his 16-year-old mistress, and buried himself in debts. The relationship between father and son did improve as Michel grew older.
Verne's situation improved when he met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, one of the most important French publishers of the 19th century, who also published Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, and Erckmann-Chatrian, among others. They formed an excellent writer-publisher team until...