Jules Verne
Steve Wood
 “More than forty years before
he had made an agreement
with his publishers to produce
two novels a year for the rest of
his life for $4,000 annually.
Although his books had from
the beginning an enormous
sale, being translated into all
the languages of Europe and
Japanese and Arabic, he nobly
stuck to his agreement, and at
his death was twelve or fifteen
books ahead of his contract,
making a total of over one
hundred novels either
published or ready for
The Teacher
"You might tell your readers that these
books in which I have published prophecies
based upon the latter-day discoveries of
science have really only been a means to an
end. It will perhaps surprise you to hear that
I do not take especial pride in having written
of the motor car, the submarine boat, and the
navigable airship before they became actual
realities. When I wrote about them as
realities these things were already half
The Teacher
 "I simply made fiction out of what became ulterior
fact, and my object in so doing was not to prophesy,
but to spread a knowledge of geography among the
young in as interesting a dress as I could compass.
Every single geographical fact and every scientific
one in every book that I have ever written has been
looked up with care, and is scrupulously correct. If,
for instance, I had not wished to point the fact that a
journey round the world entailed the apparent loss
of a whole day, my 'Tour of the World in Eighty
Days' would never have been written. And 'The
Mysterious Island' owed its inception to my wish to
tell the world's boys something about the wonders of
the Pacific."
Jules Verne is born on February 8 in
Nantes, France. His parents are Pierre
and Sophie. His father and
grandfather were lawyers.
His brother Paul is born; three sisters
would follow.
Verne goes to school; his teacher,
Madame Sambain, is waiting for the
return of her sea-captain husband (who
is apparently lost).
At some point (1835?) Verne ran away
to work on a sailing ship but was
caught and sent back home.
Verne continues his education, first at
College Saint-Stanislas, then Petit
Seminaire, then the Lycee Royal de
He is an above average student who
excels in geography, Greek, and Latin.
He also writes his first stories.
Verne studies law in Paris. He writes
his first play at this time.
Verne is in Paris during the July
revolution. He also gets involved with
the literary salons in Paris at this time,
meeting both Alexandre Dumas pere
(of the Three Musketeers fame) and
Alexandre Dumas fils (his son, a
famous playwright).
Verne continues to write plays.
Verne finishes his law degree in 1849,
but stays in Paris to write.
A one act comedy of his is performed in
His first published short stories appear
in 1851, including “Drama in the Air.”
Verne becomes secretary of Théâtre
lyrique. Works published during this
time include:
 “Martin Paz”
“Master Zacharius”
“Winter in the Ice”
“Castles in California”
And the opera “Blind Man’s Bluff”
In 1856, Verne meets a young widow
with two children, Honorine de Viane.
In 1857, they marry, and Verne
becomes a stockbroker in Paris.
Verne’s only child, Michel, is born.
According to some accounts, this year
is when Verne realized he was on the
cusp of something remarkable.
Five Weeks in a Balloon appears and is an
immediate success.
A review in Paris read, "Is Dr. Fergusson`s
journey a reality or is it not? All we can say
is that it is bewitching as a novel and as
instructive as a book of science. Never have
the serious discoveries of celebrated travelers
been summed up so well."
Verne also writes Paris in the 20th
Rejected by his publisher because of its
pessimistic view of a future obsessed
with wealth, the novel will not be
published until 1994.
Edgar Allan Poe and His Works, The
Adventures of Captain Hatteras, and
Journey to the Center of the Earth are
Verne gives up his unsuccessful
stockbroker practice, and moves to
From the Earth to the Moon is
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the
Sea and Round the Moon are
 Verne’s father dies.
Around the World in Eighty Days is
The Mysterious Island is published.
Clipper of the Clouds (also published as
Robur the Conqueror) is published.
His nephew Gaston, mentally ill, asks
for money to travel to England. Verne
refuses, and the nephew fires at him
twice, laming him for life.
His mother dies.
More Prophecies
In Propeller Island, Verne lamented
destruction of the native cultures of various
Polynesian islands.
In The Ice Sphinx he predicted the
destruction of whale populations.
The Begum's Fortune warns that technology
and scientific knowledge in the hands of evil
people can lead to destruction.
Verne falls ill and eventually dies from
A number of books are published
posthumously, although some of them
were probably written by Verne’s lessthan-honest son Michel.

Jules Verne - Virtual Office