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Who is Jules Verne?

Today Jules Verne's work can be purchased in bookstores around the world.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2014
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Jules Gabriel Verne was a prolific French author who is widely regarded as one of the founding figures of the science fiction genre, along with H.G. Wells. The work of Jules Verne has been widely translated, and it is available in numerous bookstores all over the world. Several of Verne's works have also been adapted into films and radio plays, making him even more well known.

Jules Verne did not start out wanting to be a writer. He was born in 1828 in Nantes, France, and actually ran away at one point in an attempt to become a cabin boy on a ship. However, the young Verne was returned to his parents, who ensured that that he received an excellent education before matriculating in law school.

While Jules Verne was training as a lawyer, he started dabbling in writing, creating several short plays and working on opera librettos. When his father realized what Jules Verne was up to, he withdrew his financial support, forcing Verne to support himself by working as a stockbroker while also attempting to sell his stories. In his 30s, his novels began to be published, and he started writing books at a rapid rate.

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Some of the more well-known works of Jules Verne include Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in 80 Days (1873). He also wrote numerous other novels, all of which feature fanciful science fiction themes, and a few very prescient predictions. Although Verne's prophetic writings are sometimes exaggerated, it is certainly true that he wrote about things like air and space travel in an era when these ideas might have seemed ludicrous to many people.

During his lifetime, Jules Verne enjoyed popularity in France as a prolific author, although his works were primarily thought of as stories for children. His work also began to be translated, with mixed receptions in other countries, partially due to less than stellar translations which did not do justice to his work. Jules Verne died in 1905, and his publisher released several of his books after his death. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the first science fiction authors, setting the stage for future generations of authors and visionaries.

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