Today's Memory

Jules Verne’s birthday

Jules Verne’s birthday

Jules Verne’s birthday

Originally shared by Simona AN

Jules Verne

February 8, 1828, Nantes – March 24, 1905, Amiens

Jules Gabriel Verne was a prolific French author whose writings laid much of the foundation of modern science fiction.

Verne’s father, intending that Jules follow in his footsteps as an attorney, sent him to Paris to study law. But the young Verne fell in love with literature, especially theatre. He wrote several plays, worked as secretary of the Théâtre Lyrique (1852–1854), and published short stories and scientific essays in the periodical Musée des familles, dreaming of a new kind of novel—one that would combine scientific fact with adventure fiction…

The first of Verne’s Voyages extraordinaires (Extraordinary Journeys) – Cinq semaines en balloon (Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1863), initially serialized in Le Magasin d’éducation et de récréation, became an international best seller, and Hetzel offered Verne a long-term contract to produce many more works of “scientific fiction.”

During the 20th century, Verne’s works were translated into more than 140 languages, making the second of the world’s most translated authors (after Agatha Christie). A number of successful motion pictures were made from Verne novels, starting in 1916 with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (remade in 1954 by Walt Disney) and including The Mysterious Island(1929 and 1961), From the Earth to the Moon (1958), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), and, perhaps the most popular, Around the World in 80 Days (1956, 1989, 2004).

Verne is often referred to as the Father of Science Fiction, a title sometimes shared with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells.

More on:

Video: Mysterious Island

Jules Verne Portrait by David A. Johnson

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