Jules Verne was a French writer from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, who not only marked his time with his literary works, some of which became bestsellers, but also with his incredible vision of the future of society.

 


Jules Verne : an extraordinary visionary.

Credit : Gallica-BnF

As mentioned above, the Nantes native has made himself known above all for the writing of his books, some of which have been extremely successful, notably 20 thousand leagues under the seas or Le tour du monde en 80 jours. Having become a master in the writing of adventure and science fiction novels, Jules Verne would become several years or even centuries after his death in Amiens in 1905, the fourth author to see his works adapted in several other fields, including the seventh art, just behind William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

If Jules Verne also became one of the most emblematic French authors of his time, it is also for his astonishing spirit of analysis on the future of society, in particular by mentioning in practically all his writings, inventions that for his time would have been considered completely unlikely.

And yet, the most famous inventions of his stories have all been created over time. This is the case for:

  • The electric submarine mentioned in 20 thousand leagues under the seas with Captain Nemo’s Nautilus which will be actually manufactured from 1887 by the Spanish navy.
  • From the videoconference, Jules Verne had imagined in 1889 in his short story: The day of an American journalist in 2889, in his own words a kind of “console” that would allow to send and receive “calls” and to have images in continuous movement by a “system of sensitive mirrors connected by cables”. All these details lead us to think of a modern telephone, the first of which was made by Alexandre Graham Bell in 1877.
  • The space capsule we hear about in From the Earth to the Moon, (novel written in 1865). The author imagines a ship made up mainly of aluminium carrying three astronauts who were former Civil War soldiers who, to kill their boredom, decided to sail to the moon. 100 years after the publication of this book, we witness the first launch of the spacecraft on March 18, 1965 by the USSR, which in the middle of the Cold War managed to compete with the capitalist bloc (led by the United States) on the conquest of space.
  • The electric chair that appears in Paris in the 20th century written in 1860. Here, Jules Verne assumed through the discovery of the main character of his work Michel that there would be a new method of execution even more horrible than the edge of an executioner’s axe. A chair that would be directly connected to electrical cables. The author was once again right, since the machine he mentioned would be manufactured by Thomas Edison and his assistants in the late 1880s, etc.

There are still many examples of inventions from Jules Verne’s books that can be compared with reality, and questions about the author’s visionary spirit remain a mystery to this day.

Simples coincidences or real predictions by Jules Verne? It is up to you to make your opinion on the subject.

Credit-Image on the front page: Reserved Rights (DR)



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John Sinclair

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