In 1958 an atomic submarine, the “Nautilus”, made history by sailing under the polar ice cap and crossing the North Pole. In a book written about 100 years ago another “Nautilus” cruised under the ice cap at the South Pole. This earlier “Nautilus” was in “Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Sea”, a book by Jules Verne.
Jules Verne was born in France. As a boy he was interested in machinery, sailing, and writing. He and his brother Paul had an old sailboat in which they explored the river near sent to Paris to study law. Jules, however, soon decided that writing was his main interest.
He joined a club of scientific writers. This group studied the balloon, and Jules wrote an adventure story which he called “Five Weeks in a Balloon”. Geography had been his favourite subject at school, and he wanted to describe as many different parts of the world as possible in his writings.
Verne is remembered and his books are still read because they are good adventure stories. But Verne also forecast many inventions that we have today. He believed that the world would some day have airplanes, submarines, television, dirigibles and long-range weapons. “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” and “Around the World in Eighty Days” are among his most popular stories. The latter was first published as a newspaper serial in Paris. Verne kept in a notebook every idea or bit of information he came across with that he thought might be useful in his writing.
In his study he had a large map of the world on which he marked all the routes travelled by his heroes. When he died at the age of 77, he had written more than 50 books.
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