A Frenchman born on February 8, 1828, in Nantes, Verne entered the world the first of five children. With his family he spent the summers near the Loire River watching ships, which helped stimulate his creative imagination. At age nine he attended boarding school and a couple years later, Verne decided to stow away on a ship destined for India. Caught and punished, Verne promised his parents he would only travel in his mind.
After high school he studied law. However, at that time, he discovered an interest in writing for the theater. His father sorely disapproved of Verne spending time in something other than his law school work and refused to provide any more financial support. This loss led Verne to become a stockbroker, a profession he detested. While working, Verne also wrote, succumbing to one rejection after another. His writing improved, however, after he became close friends with Alexandre Dumas, Sr. and met Victor Hugo. Verne's new wife also gave him encouragement to continue writing and to find a publisher.
The publisher he found was Pierre-Jules Hetzel. With Hetzel's editing skills and suggestions, Verne's abilities improved to such an extent that he could eventually live off of his writing from both serialized stories and stage adaptations. Yet his life would not remain so positive, for he changed inside when his nephew shot him in the left leg, leaving him to walk with a limp. Then Hetzel and Verne's mother died in 1887, creating much grief for Verne. His literary work turned darker, and Verne switched to politics, becoming town councilor of Amiens for 15 years. After suffering from diabetes, Verne passed away in his home on March 24, 1905.
This author wrote about underwater machines, space travel, air travel, and anticipated with uncanny accuracy modern inventions and conveniences. Along with H. G. Wells, Verne is considered the "Father of Science Fiction", and he is the second most translated author after Agatha Christie. Verne left a tremendous legacy, and some of his works were made into films, such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days.
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