It’s Jules Verne’s Birthday!

Who of any mature age, doesn’t know Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, published in 1870. I think I was introduced to it via the movie that starred Kirk Douglas as Ned Land and James Mason as Captain Nemo. Peter Lorre was in it to. I just found out it was released in 1954. I probably saw it on TV in the 60’s.  And who doesn’t know Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) or the ever popular and much copied Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). They had movies made of them as well, if I’m not mistaken (quite a few of the latter).  What an imagination he had!  I’m sure his submarine, the Nautilus, was much improved from the submarines of his day. (Ah – the joys of fiction!) They were all very creative stories, though I’m sorry to say, I don’t think I’ve read a single one! I’m going to put them on my “to read” list right now!

Looks like a pleasant fellow

Jules was born February 8th, 1828 in Nantes, France  as Jules Gabriel Verne and died from complications of diabetes in 1905 at the age of 77.  He had one son, Michel, and two step-daughters.  His stories were first published in French. I don’t know when they were translated to English.

When I think of these more famous Verne stories I also think of H.G. Wells  who was younger than Verne. Herbert George Wells was born in 1866 and died in 1946 and was English. I have a book of Wells’ that was my father’s. It was given to him by his good friend I.R. Howlett in 1955.  Howlett got it from a mutual friend by the name of Ray Hadwick when he enlisted as a radio technician in 1940. My father gave it to me in 1985 because he knew I would enjoy it. It was published in 1937 and is titled The Famous Short Stories of H.G. Wells. It has the Time Machine in it and 62 other short stories. Wow, Wells was prolific!

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