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The great Science Fiction Writer, Jules Verne.

Not only a brilliant Science Fiction writer but a poet and a playwright as well, Jules Verne was born in Nantes in France on the 8th of February 1828.  Probably his best-selling adventure novels were Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty days. Working together with the renowned publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel he came up with these three extraordinary tales banded together under the title Voyages Extraordinaires.  His writing was usually based in and around the second part of the 19th century to take into account the futuristic advances of the time. Verne also wrote, From the Earth to the Moon and The Mysterious Island which were also included in the Voyages Extraordinaires series. Full of weird and wonderful adventures where normal people got to travel to mysterious islands and witness terrible creatures lurking at the bottom of the sea.

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Probably the best known of these novels, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, captured people’s imaginations with the tale of the underwater ship the Nautilus and its Captain “Nemo”. How Jules Verne managed to describe many of the features from the submarines of today in his tale when describing the Nautilus was astounding as back in the 1860’s when the novel was written, submarines were incredibly primitive vessels. He might well have given his underwater ship a Thermal Plasma Spray coating to reinforce its hull and make it more impenetrable to the host of sea creatures that tried to attack it!  Twenty Thousand Leagues is equivalent to 40,000 nautical miles or almost twice around the Earth!  The illustrations in this wonderful tale were created by Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou and managed to perfectly capture the terrifying moments when creatures attacked or peaceful scenes when the brave divers actually walked along the seabed while up above them huge jellyfish hung like enormous chandeliers.

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Jules Verne passed away in Amiens, France on the 24th of March 1905 aged seventy-seven years. His most notable award was the Legion of Honour – Officer in 1892.  Apart from his famous novels he also composed numerous short stories, plays, songs and poetry, alongside his scientific, literary and artistic studies. Jules Verne has been ranked alongside William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie and was sometimes affectionately known as “The Father of Science”.

 

 

Walker Roger

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