Jules Gabriel Verne (French pronunciation: [ʒyl vɛʁn]) was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre in Europe. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). Many of his novels involve elements of technology that were fantastic for the day but later became commonplace. He is the second most translated author in the world (after Agatha Christie). Some of his books have also been made into live-action and animated films and television shows. Verne is often referred to as the "Father of Science Fiction", a title sometimes shared with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells.
Jules Verne was born in Nantes, in France, to Pierre Verne, an attorney, and his wife, Sophie Allote de la Fuÿe. He spent his early years at home with his parents in the harbor city of Nantes. The family spent summers in a country house just outside the city, in Brains on the banks of the Loire River. Here, he and his brother Paul would often rent a boat for one franc a day. The sight of the many ships navigating the river sparked Verne's imagination, as he describes in the autobiographical short story "Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse". At the age of nine, he and Paul, of whom he was very fond, were sent to boarding school at the Saint Donatien College (Petit séminaire de Saint-Donatien). As a child, he developed a great interest in travel and exploration, a passion he showed as a writer of adventure stories and science fiction. His interest in writing often cost him progress in other subjects.
Verne's second French biographer, his grand-niece Marguerite Allotte de la Fuÿe, formulated the rumor that Verne was so fascinated with adventure at an early age that he stowed away on a ship bound for the West Indies, but that his voyage was cut short when he found his father waiting for him at the next port.
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