Interesting Facts About Jules Verne: “Father of Science Fiction”

Jules Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
He was born Jules Gabriel Verne on February 8th, 1828 in Nantes France, to Pierre Verne, an attorney, and Sophie Allote de la Fuye. He had a younger brother Paul, and three younger sisters Anna, Mathilde, and Marie.
When Jules was six he was sent to boarding school, and when he was 11, Jules attempted to travel to the Indies as a cabin boy aboard a ship. His father reached the ship just in time to stop the adventure. Jules was eventually sent to Paris to study law, and began writing.
Verne is considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism. His reputation is markedly different in Anglophone regions, where he has often been labeled a writer of genre fiction or children’s books, largely because of the highly abridged and altered translations in which his novels are often reprinted.
Verne has been the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare. He has sometimes been called the “Father of Science Fiction”, a title that has also been given to H. G. Wells and Hugo Gernsback.
Here are some interesting facts about Jules Verne:
1. Jules Verne wrote a historical adventure story titled The First Ships of the Mexican Navy, which was published in 1851 in the magazine The Family Museum (Musee des familles).
2. His mentally ill nephew, Gaston shot Jules Verne in 1886. Two shots were fired, one missing and the other hitting his left leg. Gaston spent the remainder of his life in a mental asylum and Verne had a limp for the rest of his life, which ended in 1905 of diabetes.
3. He fell in love with his cousin. Verne began writing poetry at just 12 years old. As a teenager, he used poetry as an outlet for his burgeoning romantic feelings. Verne fell in love with his cousin, Caroline Tronson, who was a year and a half older than him.
He wrote and dedicated poems to Tronson, gave her presents, and attended dances with her. Unfortunately, Tronson didn’t reciprocate her younger cousin’s feelings. In 1847, when Verne was 19 and Tronson was 20, she married a man two decades her senior. Verne was heartbroken.
4. He became friends with a blind geographer and explorer Jacques Arago, who introduced Jules to travel writing.
5. Jules Verne gave up his law career to write, against the wishes of his father.
6. Jules Verne published Master Zacharius and A Winter Amid the Ice in 1854, again in the magazine Musee de famille.
7. Jules Verne took a sea voyage in 1858, and again in 1861, further inspiring his adventure writing.
8. Jules Verne’s first published novel was Five Weeks in a Balloon, a book he wrote about a travel adventure across Africa. It was published on January 31st, 1863 by the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who had already published Victor Hugo, Balzac, and George Sand, acclaimed writers of the time.
9. Most of Jules Verne’s novels were published first in serialized form in Hetzel’s magazine Magasin. They then went on to be published in book form.
10. Jules Verne bought his own ship and began to travel with his wife, sailing to different ports around the world.
11. His success continued with several new books including The Adventures of a Special Correspondent (1872), and Dick Sand: A Captain at Fifteen (1878).
12. Jules Verne continued to travel, and write, publishing Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon in 1881 and Master of the World in 1904.
13. Jules Verne predicted several technological advances years ahead of their invention, including the powered submarine, calculators, glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains and a worldwide communications network.

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