What Do We Know About the ‘Father of Science Fiction’?
The life path of Jules Verne started in 1828 in Nantes, France, but at that time nothing was showing that his future might be connected with writing. On the contrary, he had good chances to link his life with law, as his father was a pretty good lawyer. After studying at a boarding school the young man went to Paris, there he got his law degree.
As a child Jules Verne was enthusiastic and inspired with the stories of nautical adventures and shipwrecks. They were told by the sailors who came in the docks of the native city.
Living in Paris Jules Verne made friends of the son of Alexandre Dumas, who was a well-known writer at that time. Thanks to that meeting Jules Verne was able to present his first play, The Broken Straws; it was staged at Duma’s theatre in 1850. Unfortunately, writing wasn’t a profitable business, that’s why he had to accept a brokerage job offered by a family of Honorine de Viane Morel, a girl with whom Verne fell in love. Soon the young writer found a job that combined everything he was found of – travelling, science and history.
The 1860s were the most thriving period for Verne’s career as a literary man. In that period he was introduced to Pierre-Jules Hetzel, a successful publisher and businessman. Verne’s first novel, Five Weeks in a Balloon, impressed Hetzel very much, so the businessman launched a magazine, in which Verne’s novels were published serially. Later the novels were released as books of Extraordinary Voyages collection. Until death Jules Verne worked on the books for the series, as a result he created 54 novels for it.
Best-Known Novels of Jules Verne
- Journey to the Center of the Earth. This novel is one of the least realistic works of the author, but who cares about it, when readers can go on a marvelous journey across Europe through underground lakes, rivers and caverns.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. At Verne’s time submarines existed, but their design and structure were far from what we have today. Created by the author remarkable submarine the Nautilus and Captain Nemo showed the readers the deepest and farthest parts of the world ocean.
- From the Earth to the Moon. Verne’s characters reached the orbit of the Moon by means of a special cannon and a bullet-shaped capsule. Not bad, even if that’s impossible to do in terms of physics. Who could know that a hundred years later it will be real?
- Around the World in Eighty Days. This is definitely a handbook of all true travelers. Frankly speaking, such journey could be made with the technologies available for that time, but Jules Verne described it extremely vividly and lively.
- Five Weeks in a Balloon. Another novel about available technologies for Verne’s age. As usual the author greatly upgraded a balloon and added a lot of travel adventures. Heroes of the novel traveled across Africa in the balloon and met a lot of extraordinary people and animals.
Verne’s Role in Culture
To be honest, Jules Verne wasn’t the first writer of science fiction, and a title the ‘father of science fiction’ was also often applied to other authors. In particular, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was released in 1818, and a little bit later in the 1840s Edgar Allan Poe created some science fiction stories. Despite this fact Jules Verne should be called the most influential science fiction writer not only of the past, but also of the present. Verne’s impact on modern popular culture is huge, if you have any doubts, think of how many movies, cartoons, televisions series and computer games have been created for last 20 years. This awesome writer had depicted things and phenomena many years before they became real and were studied. Jules Verne got ahead of his contemporaries and his epoch as a whole.