Verne was born on February 8, 1828, in Nantes, France, a busy maritime port city. There, Verne was exposed to vessels departing and arriving, sparking his imagination for travel and adventure. While attending boarding school, he began to write short stories and poetry. Afterward, his father, a lawyer, sent his oldest son to Paris to study law.
While he tended to his studies, Verne found himself attracted to literature and the theater. He began frequenting Paris’ famed literary salons, and befriended a group of artists and writers that included Alexandre Dumas and his son. After earning his law degree in 1849, Verne remained in Paris to indulge his artistic leanings. The following year, his one-act play Broken Straws (Les Pailles rompues) was performed.
His works of imagination, and the innovations and inventions contained within, have appeared in countless forms, from motion pictures to the stage, to television. Often referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction,” Verne is the second most translated writer of all time (behind Agatha Christie), and his musings on scientific endeavors have sparked the imaginations of writers, scientists and inventors for over a century.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870): When Verne wrote his sixth novel, submarines were crude, small, and extremely dangerous. With Captain Nemo and his submarine the Nautilus, Verne imagines a miraculous vehicle capable of circling the globe underwater. This favorite novel of Verne’s takes his readers to the deepest parts of the ocean and gives them a glimpse of the strange fauna and flora of the world’s seas. The novel also predicts the globe-circling nuclear submarines of the 20th century.