Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | By: Furqon Abdi

Biography of Jules Verne

Jules Verne

Jules Gabriel Verne was born on 8 February 1828 in Nantes, Pays de la Loire, France, the first of five children born to Sophie Henriette Allotte de la Fuye (d. 1887) and Pierre Verne (1799-1871), attorney. In the busy maritime port city and summers spent on the Loire River, Verne was exposed to the comings and goings of schooners and ships that sparked his imagination for travel and adventure. After attending boarding school during which he started to write short stories and poetry, Verne settled in Paris to study law, as his father had done. However, upon obtaining his degree in 1850, he was much more interested in theatre, to his father's disappointment. Living a bohemian life, he wrote and collaborated on numerous plays, dramas, and operettas including Blind Man's Bluff (1852), often collaborating with his friend and musician Jean Louis Aristide Hignard (1822-1897).
Known as a prolific writer having more than seventy books to his name, Jules Verne was the author of classis such as Journey to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in Eighty Days. Discovered by the renowned publisher Hetzel, who published Victor Hugo, Verne would become on of the wealthiest and well-known writers of his day.
Young Jules spent much of his childhood in Nantes, France. His father was an attorney and worked a lot, supporting his family financially, but not paying much attention to his son’s creative endeavors. When Jules Verne went to Paris, France to study to become a lawyer, he used his time writing and meeting new and well-established artists of the day. He even had some of his work published with Musee des Familles, where he wrote stories about adventure with the most extravagant of inventions.

Jules Verne’s life changed when he met one of the most prominent publishers in France at the time, Pierre-Jules Hetzel. The publisher decided to take a chance by giving this newfound author with fantastic stories a chance. With Hetzel’s guidance and oftentimes, complete makeovers on Verne’s work, Five Weeks in a Balloon, about a voyage over Africa, sold better than anyone could have anticipated.
From his first book onward, Verne and Hetzel would release two and sometimes three books per year. Following the success of his first book, Hetzel decided to serialize Verne’s writings in his magazine, thereby leaving the reading public salivating in anticipation about what would happen next to the protagonist. His fame became more widespread and Jules Verne became wealthy. He even bought a boat and sailed around Europe, which inspired him to write more about the exotic places he would frequent. Jules Verne’s works are still read as a part of the major literary canon of the latter 20 th and early 21 st centuries. In fact, his work is so popular that Jackie Chan starred in the major motion picture of Around the World in 80 Days in 2004.

Jules Verne died on March 24, 1905 and the whole world mourned.  He was the founder of modern science fiction and the creator of many imaginary inventions that became reality.  He inspired scientists, explorers and builders.


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