Voyages Extraordinaires of Jules Verne

The Voyages extraordinaires  of Jules Verne

Not only can you travel personally, you can also travel without being in the place. Today we do it online through the internet. But 100 years ago it could also be done through literature. His ultimate expression of mind-blowing, fantastic and science-fiction trips was Jules Gabriel Verne.

Jules Verne and the United States

The United States is widely portrayed in the vernian bibliography: the state of Florida shares the stage with his work From the Earth to the Moon. Other works set entirely in the United States include An Eccentric’s Testament, Meteor Hunt, and Maston’s Secret.
Other important works partially set in this country are Around the World in Eighty Days and The Golden Volcano.
Curiously, in this book Verne leaves out the eccentric characters as he almost always portrays the American, the best example of him being J. T. Maston, who appears in three novels.

Jules Verne and the United States
Jules Verne and the United States

Jules Verne was born….

On February 8, 1828, Jules Verne was born, considered the father of modern science fiction, prolific author of adventure travel and science fiction. He was born in Nantes – France . He was the eldest of the 5 children of the marriage of Pierre Verne, a lawyer, and Sophie Allote de la Füye, from a shipowning family of Scottish descent.

In 1839, at the age of 11, he tried to escape on a ship to India, as a stowaway, but his father managed to arrest him on the same boat and beat him and imprisoned him with bread and water, as punishment. At 1840, they moved to Chantenay, near Nantes. In 1844, he was attending the Royal Lyceum of Nantes and began to write small prose poems at the age of 16. His father sent him to Paris to study law, so that Jules could follow in his footsteps as a lawyer.

The Voyages extraordinaires  of Jules Verne
The Voyages extraordinaires  of Jules Verne

Fall in love with literature

But Jules Verne fell in love with literature, especially theater. He wrote several works and libretti. He worked as secretary of the Lyric Theater (1852-54) and published short stories and scientific essays in the magazine Musée des familles. Alexander Dumas was his protector, when he had already become an authority on French letters, thanks to the publication of successful works such as The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo

In 1856 he met Honorine Hebe du Fraysse de Viane, a young widow with 2 daughters, whom he married on January 10, 1857 and had Michel Verne. For years he worked as a broker on the Paris Stock Exchange. He continued writing, researching at the National Library and dreaming of a new type of novel that would combine scientific fact with adventure fiction. In 1859, he traveled through England and Scotland, and that inspired him to write later works.

He founded the Society for Air Research in 1862, and in September of that same year he met the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who agreed to publish the first of his books (Five Weeks in a Balloon – 1863).

Initially serialized in Hetzel’s Le Magasin d’éducation et de récréation, the novel became an international best seller, and Hetzel offered Verne a long-term contract to produce many more works of “science fiction.”

He was guaranteed the annual amount of 20,000 francs for the next twenty years.

Jules Verne left his job at the stock market to become a full-time writer and began what would turn out to be a highly successful author-publisher collaboration that lasted over 40 years and resulted in more than 60 works in the popular _Voyages extraordinaires_ series. , which appeared in monthly chapters in the aforementioned magazine Magasin d’education.

Verne’s works can be divided into three distinct phases.

First Stage

From 1862 to 1886, it is his positivist period. After his dystopian second novel _Paris au XXe siècle_. (written in 1863, kept in a safe, and published 130 years later, in 1994) was rejected by Hetzel in 1863, Jules Verne learned his lesson and for more than 20 years produced many highly successful scientific adventure novels, includin:


  • Journey to the Center of the Earth  – (1863, 1867)
  • From the earth to the moon (1865)
  • Around the moon (1870)
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
  • Around the World in Eighty Days (1873)

In french

    • Voyage au center de la terre (1863, 1867)
    • De la terre à la lune (1865)
    • Autour de la lune (1870)
    • Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1870)
    • Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (1873)


In 1870, he was mobilized during the Franco-Prussian War as a Coast Guard soldier. By then Jules Verne he settled with his family in Amiens and made a short trip to the United States to visit New York and Niagara Falls.

He bought several ships, traveled the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, adapted some novels to the theater, gained world fame and a modest fortune.

Second Stage

He spans from 1886 until his death in 1905; it could be considered the pessimistic period of Verne.

Throughout these years the ideological tone of his _Voyages extraordinaires_ began to change. He turned away from the pro-science tales of exploration and discovery to explore the dangers of technology, which were elaborated by arrogant scientists in novels like:

  • Upside Down (1889)
  • Helix Island (1895)
  • Facing the Flag (1896)
  • Master of the World (1904).

In french

    • Sans dessus dessous (1889)
    • L’Île à helix (1895)
    • Face au drapeau (1896)
    • Maître du monde (1904).

This shift in focus also occurred in parallel to certain adversities in the author’s personal life. The growing problems with his son Michel; the financial difficulties that forced her to sell his yacht; the successive deaths of his mother and his mentor Hetzel; and the attack by a mentally challenged nephew who shot him in the leg, leaving him with a partial injury.

In 1892 he was distinguished as a Knight of the Legion of Honor.

 Jules Verne
Jules Verne

Third Stage

When Jules Verne died in 1905, he left a drawer full of nearly finished manuscripts. This period, spanning from 1905 to 1919, could be considered the “Verne fils” stage; when his posthumous works were published by his son Michel, after having been extensively renovated.

They include:

In french

    • Le Volcan d’or  (1906),
    • L’Agence Thompson and Co. (1907),
    • La Chasse au météore (1908)
    • Le Pilote du Danube (1908)

Original manuscripts vs published posthumous versions

Comparing the original manuscripts with published posthumous versions, the researchers found that Michel. Verne did much more than just edit them. In most cases he completely rewrote them, among other changes, recast the plots, added fictional characters and made his style more melodramatic.

Michel Verne died in 1925, and Verne’s literary legacy reached at the end. In 1926, American publisher Hugo Gernsback used a depiction of Verne’s grave as a logo for his – Amazing Stories -, the first literary magazine to feature “science” stories.

As the term “science” evolved into “science fiction,” the new genre began to flourish like never before, and Jules Verne was universally recognized as its creator. During the 20th century, Verne’s works were translated into more than 140 languages, making him one of the most translated authors in the world.

At the Cinema, from some of his novels made several successful films. (here)

He began in 1902 with the “Journey to the Moon”, by Georges Méliès; it followed in 1916 with “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (remade in 1954 by Walt Disney); and then: “The mysterious island” (1929 and 1961); “From the Earth to the Moon” (1958); “Journey to the center of the Earth” (1959); the popular one, “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956) …

His influence extends beyond Literature and Film to the world of science and technology, where he inspired generations of scientists, inventors and explorers.In 1954 the United States Navy launched the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, christened the “Nautilus” after Verne’s.

And for more than 130 years, adventurers like Nellie Bly (1890), Wiley Post (1933) and Steve Fossett (2005) have followed in the footsteps of Jules Verne’s fictional hero, Phileas Fogg.

Published Jules Verne’s Works

available on

French titleEnglish titleYear
Cinq Semaines en ballonFive Weeks in a Balloon1863
Voyages et aventures du capitaine HatterasThe Adventures of Captain Hatteras1866
Voyage au centre de la TerreJourney to the Center of the Earth1864
De la Terre à la LuneFrom the Earth to the Moon1865
Les Enfants du capitaine GrantIn Search of the Castaways1867–8
Vingt Mille Lieues sous les mersTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea1869–70
Autour de la LuneAround the Moon1870
Une Ville flottanteA Floating City1871
Aventures de trois Russes et de trois AnglaisThe Adventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa1872
Le Pays des fourruresThe Fur Country1873
Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts joursAround the World in Eighty Days1873
L’Île mystérieuseThe Mysterious Island1874–5
Le ChancellorThe Survivors of the Chancellor1875
Michel StrogoffMichael Strogoff1876
Hector ServadacOff on a Comet1877
Les Indes noiresThe Child of the Cavern1877
Un Capitaine de quinze ansDick Sand, A Captain at Fifteen1878
Les Cinq Cents Millions de la BégumThe Begum’s Fortune1879
Les Tribulations d’un Chinois en ChineTribulations of a Chinaman in China1879
La Maison à vapeurThe Steam House1880
La JangadaEight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon1881
L’École des RobinsonsGodfrey Morgan1882
Le Rayon vertThe Green Ray1882
Kéraban-le-têtuKéraban the Inflexible1883
L’Étoile du sudThe Vanished Diamond1884
L’Archipel en feuThe Archipelago on Fire1884
Mathias SandorfMathias Sandorf1885
Un Billet de loterieThe Lottery Ticket1886
Robur-le-ConquérantRobur the Conqueror1886
Nord contre SudNorth Against South1887
Le Chemin de FranceThe Flight to France1887
Deux Ans de vacances

Two Years’ Vacation

Famille-sans-nomFamily Without a Name1889
Sans dessus dessousThe Purchase of the North Pole1889
César CascabelCésar Cascabel1890
Mistress BranicanMistress Branican1891
Le Château des CarpathesCarpathian Castle1892
Claudius BombarnacClaudius Bombarnac1893
P’tit-BonhommeFoundling Mick1893
Mirifiques Aventures de Maître AntiferCaptain Antifer1894
L’Île à hélicePropeller Island1895
Face au drapeauFacing the Flag1896
Clovis DardentorClovis Dardentor1896
Le Sphinx des glacesAn Antarctic Mystery1897
Le Superbe OrénoqueThe Mighty Orinoco1898
Le Testament d’un excentriqueThe Will of an Eccentric1899
Seconde PatrieThe Castaways of the Flag1900
Le Village aérienThe Village in the Treetops1901
Les Histoires de Jean-Marie CabidoulinThe Sea Serpent1901
Les Frères KipThe Kip Brothers1902
Bourses de voyageTravel Scholarships1903
Un Drame en LivonieA Drama in Livonia1904
Maître du mondeMaster of the World1904
L’Invasion de la merInvasion of the Sea1905




  • Journey to the Moon, 1902, directed by Georges Méliès.
  • The 1951 Mysterious Island, directed by Spencer Gordon Benet and starring Richard Crane.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1954, directed by Richard Fleischer with Kirk Douglas as Ned and James Mason as Captain Nemo.
  • Miguel Strogoff from 1956, directed by Carmine Gallone and with Curd Jurgens as Miguel Strogoff.
  • Around the World in 80 Days, 1956, directed by Michael Anderson with David Niven as Phileas Fogg and Cantinflas as Passepartout (or Passepartout).
  • From the Earth to the Moon, 1958, directed by Byron Haskin with Joseph Cotten, Debra Paget and George Sanders.
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth 1959, directed by Henry Levin and starring James Mason.
  • Owner of the World 1961, directed by William Witney and starring Vincent Price.
  • The Mysterious Island of 1961, directed by Cy Endfield with Michael Craig as the protagonist.
  • The Children of Captain Grant from 1962, directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Maurice Chevalier, George Sanders and Hayley Mills.
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1962, directed by Irwin Allen with Red Buttons.
  • The Light of the End of the World 1971, directed by Kevin Billington and performed by Kirk Douglas, Yul Brynner and Fernando Rey.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1997, directed by Rod Hardy and starring Michael Caine, Bryan Brown, Patrick Dempsey and Mía Sara.
  • Around the World in 80 Days 2004, directed by Frank Coraci, produced by Disney with Jackie Chan.
  • Jules Verne’s 2005 Mysterious Island, directed by Russell Mulcahy and portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Stewart, and Gabrielle Anwar.
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth 2008, directed by Eric Brevig and performed by Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, and Anita Briem.
  • The 2012 Mysterious Island, directed by Brad Peyton and starring Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Luis Guzmán and Vanessa Hudgens.

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