Jules Verne: 6 Top Facts About the Father of Science Fiction Writing

“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”                                                                                                   (Jules Verne – Around the world in 80 days)

Jules Verne picture black and white portrait

Jules Verne 1828-1905

  • Born on the 8th February, 1828 in Nantes, France. Jules Gabriel Verne went on to be affectionally known as “The Father of Science Fiction” writing over 50 novels, plays and essays during his life time. His first full novel, ‘Five weeks in a balloon’, a book about the exploration of Africa was published in 1863.
  • In 1834, at the age of six, Verne was sent to boarding school at 5 Place du Bouffay in Nantes where he started writing short stories and poetry. Upon leaving school Verne was sent to Paris to study law as his father had done so before him. Verne became disillusioned with practising law and began writing plays, dramas and operettas whilst becoming friends with Alexandre Dumas (author of The Three Musketeers). Verne’s first success was the stage comedy, ‘Les Pailles rompues’ (The Broken Straws) produced by the Opéra-National at the Théâtre Historique in Paris, opening on 12 June 1850.

photo of the national opera house in paris france

Opéra-National, Paris 

  • Verne became a stockbroker to support his playwriting allowing him financial stability to marry Honorine de Viane Morel, a widow of 26 with two young children on the 10th January 1857.
  • In 1864 Verne published his now famous novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”; during that same year “Paris in the 20th Century” was rejected for publication and subsequently locked away in a safe for the next 130 years before being found by his Great Grandson in 1989. In that book ‘Verne talks of a young man who lives in a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, gas-powered automobiles, calculators, and a worldwide communications network’. A intriguing insight into Verne’s mind and shows what vision and imagination “The Father of Science Fiction” possessed.

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Journey to the centre of the Earth cover 1878 

  • 1886 saw an attempt on Verne’s life by none other than his favourite nephew Gaston.  25 year old Gaston fired twice at Verne with the second bullet striking him in the shin leaving the author with a permanent limp. Gaston was to spend the rest of his life locked up in an asylum suffering from mental illness.
  • Jules Verne died on the 24th March, 1905 in Amiens while suffering from diabetes. With more than 50 novels to his name he is the second most translated author behind Agatha Christie demonstrating the publics affection and fascination with his stories, from Rocket Scientists to Submarine Designers, Cosmonauts to Polar Explorers Verne’s influence on the world is undeniable and highly so deserves the title “Father of Science Fiction”.

Do you know of any other interesting facts relating to Jules Verne?

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