Jules Verne is a world famous French author. Although he wrote his books many years ago we are constantly reminded of him in French towns and cities. You may noticed the beautiful hot air balloon, and other travel items from his books that often feature on the beautiful carousels…
Most of us have seen the film of his major work “Around the world in eighty days”. He also wrote the famous “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, in French the book is called “Vingt mille lieus sous les mers”. Jules Verne (1828-1905) wrote in an era where we were discovering the world at a fantastically rapid rate from a relatively low base. Verne took an obvious delight in revealing in considerable detail what he believed to be on the earth, under the ground and in the sea. He even, a hundred years and more ago wrote about space. He added conjecture as to what else may be discovered in the future. It was clearly a thrilling age and he was at the heart of it, prolific in his writing of books, articles and poetry.
Jules Verne is the world’s second most translated author after Shakespeare. He was born in Nantes which is no doubt where his attraction for the sea came from. He seems to be viewed quite differently outside of France where he is seen as more of a children’s book or genre fiction writer. In France is seen as the father of science fiction with a powerful influence on the surrealism and avant-garde. This is down to the fact that the translated versions are apparently excessively abridged and altered.
So next time you see one of those pretty balloons or rockets on a carousel – you’ll know what inspired them!
You can see the influence of Jules Verne in Nantes at Les Machines de l’Ile de Nantes where fantastical machines wow and surprise!
Peter Horrocks lives in Grasse where he blogs about life, what to do and see in France, getting beyond the obvious where possible. An avid walker, skier and amateur travel photographer, you can find him blogging at PeterHorrocksTumblr