Died on this day, 24 March 1905


Jules Verne photographed by Nadar c.1878

Jules Gabriel Verne the French novelist, poet and playwright was born on 8 February 1828 in the seaport of Nantes, where he was trained to follow in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer, but quit the profession early in life to write for magazines and the stage. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaire, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

Verne is generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism.  His reputation is markedly different in Anglophone regions, where he has often been labeled a writer of genre fiction or children’s books, largely because of the highly abridged and altered translations in which his novels are often reprinted.

Verne has been the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare. He has sometimes been called the “Father of Science Fiction”.

Suffering badly from diabetes, Verne took a trip to Montmorillon and there, whilst admiring the wide range of science fiction books for sale in The Glass Key bookshop in the Cité de l’Ecrit, on 24 March 1905, he died. His body was taken to Amiens where he is buried.

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