Jules Verne

Jules Verne (vûrn; zhül vĕrn), 1828–1905, French novelist, originator of modern science fiction. After completing his studies at the Nantes lycée, he went to Paris to study law. He early became interested in the theater and wrote (1848–50) librettos for operettas. For some years his concerns alternated between business and the theater, but after 1863 he drew upon his interest in science and geography to write a series of romances of extraordinary journeys, in which he anticipated, with remarkable foresight, many scientific and technological achievements of the 20th cent.

Verne is especially known to English readers in translations of his Five Weeks in a Balloon (1863), A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870), Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), The Mysterious Island (1875), and Michael Strogoff (1876). Extremely popular, he wrote more than 50 books by the time he died. Plays and motion pictures have been made from many of his works, which are still widely read, particularly by the young. In 1989 the manuscript of Verne's long-lost 1863 novel Paris in the 20th Century was discovered; the pessimistic and prophetic futurist work was published in 1994.

See A. B. Evans, Jules Verne Rediscovered (1988); H. Lottman, Jules Verne: An Exploratory Biography (1996).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Jules Verne: Selected full-text books and articles

Jules Verne: Narratives of Modernity By Edmund J. Smyth Liverpool University Press, 2000
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea By Jules Verne; W. J. Aylward Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953
Around the World in Eighty Days By Jules Verne; William Butcher Oxford University Press, 1995
Journey to the Centre of the Earth By Jules Verne; William Butcher Oxford University Press, 1998
Exotic Memories: Literature, Colonialism, and the Fin de Siècle By Chris Bongie Stanford University, 1991
Librarian’s tip: "Imperial Fictions and the Boundary of Colonialism: Jules Verne's 'Michel Strogoff'" begins on p. 46
Coordinates: Placing Science Fiction and Fantasy By George E. Slusser; Robert Scholes; Eric S. Rabkin Southern Illinois University Press, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "Jules Verne: Journey to the Center of Science Fiction" begins on p. 31
Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays By Noel Carroll Cambridge University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "The Case of Jules Verne" begins on p. 185
The Literary Detective: 100 Puzzles in Classic Fiction By John Sutherland Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Jules Verne and the English Sunday" begins on p. 683
The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature By Humphrey Carpenter; Mari Prichard Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Verne, Jules (1828-1905)" begins on p. 556
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