Juliette Verne

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Part of the Politics series on Ecotopism

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Juliette Gabrielle Verne was born in Nantes, France. Her parents were a local lawyer and his wife. She was always fascinated by the sea, somewhat to her parents' scandal. In the end, she married a schooner captain from Louisianne named Ulysses Clemens. For most of a decade she travelled with him (which was not unheard of). Thus before the age of thirty, she had already been to such far-flung locations as Xliponia, Italy, New Francy, Egypt, Jamaica and Philadelphia. However, when she became pregnant she settled down in New Orleans to raise her children (she had three).

She began writing under the name "J.Verne," her novels were initially tales of the sea such as La course autour du cap (Race Around the Cape) about a fictional race between steamships from New Amsterdam to San Francisco. The great popularity of Autour du monde en 99 jours (Around the World in 99 Days) eventually brought her gender to public attention. The controversy seems to have simply added to her book sales, and pretty much secured her writing career.

Her most popularized novels include:

  • Une Année Sous les Vagues (A Year Beneath the Waves) about the electric submarine "Nautilus" and its mysterious inventor Captain Nemo, generally considered her most intriguing character. Nemo rescues three sibling children following a shipwreck--Raoul Baudelaire plus the twins Henri and Henriette. He becomes something of a father figure to them, but in the end they escape from his ship, whose fate remains unknown. This novel has been adapted for television and films several times.
  • À l'Ouest du Mississippi (West of the Mississippi) about a pair of government agents from Lousianne and the NAL who team up to stop the plans of a brilliant but cruel military inventor (and fictional pretender to the French throne) Dr. Henri des Espoirs (this book was prophetic in its description of the equivalent of tanks, machine guns and gas warfare later used in the First Great War).
  • L'île brumeuse (Isle of Mists) about a shipwrecked man who finds his way to a deserted island full of puzzles and traps, and slowly pieces together from clues the history of two brothers (Louis and Dagobert) who laid waste to the island via their feuding. This work, considered by many literary critics to be her best, is sometimes seen as a seminal work in the growth of what became Ecotopism.
  • Ligue des Étrangers (League of Strangers) was her last novel and in some ways the most controversial, laying her open to charges of plagarism. Four persons, each using an alias (but strongly resembling heroes of other popular works of the day, such as Inspector Watson and Caroleth Reid) are secretly hired by the Kemrese government to retrieve the plans for an armored airship. The novel itself was a sensation and is sometimes credited for increasing public awareness of how devastating modern warfare might become, especially the climax with duelling airships wreaking havoc above Castreleon. The villain of the piece, while known merely as "The Doctor" seems to have been suggested by Doctor Holmes.

In many ways Verne is considered the inspiration (or at least predecessor) of such authors as Itzak Azimov and Seoirse Fferreir as well as Eugenio Roddenberry and Honoré Philippe Louvain.