The most interesting submarine each of us has probably heard of is Nautilus from the novel of Jules Verne called Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.
There is an LCD screen (screen diagonal 80cm), digital TV, floor heating, a fridge with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in this room.The room has the internet connection (Wifi, network cable).
16 891 tons. This was the exact weight of all the ships, sailing and other boats and vessels, he sent down in 40 year period. It is almost unbelievable performance considering that the person in question is neither a pirate nor a conqueror. He is a common man, who was able to fight using one gun only, his pen. This man is one of the most famous writers of science fiction and adventure literature.
Jules Verne was born on February 8, 1826 in French Nantes. His father, a famous advocate was not really thrilled when his by then obedient son decided to leave his parents’ house at the age of 11 and became a ship boy on a ship heading to India. The father changed his son’s plans very quickly and in the last minute he took him from the ship ready to leave. With the assistance of a cane the father forced young Jules to promise that he would not leave the parent’s house anymore. It might have been this experience that made Jules oppose his father’s will forcing him to become an advocate several years later and he gave preference to theatre and literature.
Even though he always dreamt about travelling and exploring distant exotic countries, he never got that far. When he grew up he left his parents’ house and moved to Paris. Most of his life he lived in another French town called Amiense, where he also died. He left France only few times, when he visited Great Britain and the United Stated. Yet the countries, which he very captivatingly described in his books, i.e. the vast Russian Empire, black Africa, the Amazon River or India he only visited with his finger moving on the map.
Living in Paris he fully concentrated on theatre and he was successful from the very beginning. Later on he added his first novels to his plays. Yet, up to the age of 35 he was not very popular with publishers. None of them believed in the success of fiction adventures, which Verne described in his books. And then finally one day there was one publisher who accepted the work of the young “fantast”. And he did very well. Verne stayed loyal to his benefactor for the rest of his life, during which he wrote 63 novels and several stories. In a very short time he became one of the most popular writers. At that time he was able to shock readers with his perfect technical inventions, which were fulfilling all the expectations and daring visions. Verne, however, was not the author of all those ideas and brainwaves. He was only very perceptive and sensitive observer with the fair amount of imagination. He was carefully watching all scientific and technical attempts, which were taking place at that time and incorporated these in his books, in which he spiced them up with a little of adventure and humour. And thus while the scientists and technicians were moving forward slowly and making huge sacrifices in reality, Verne’s characters were fully experiencing exciting adventures on land, underwater or in the air. And it is this easiness of imagination that makes his works successful. Million of readers were buying, borrowing and exchanging his books and together with the main characters experiencing everything they did not dare to dream about before that. The whole generations of readers were savouring exploring journeys in breathless suspense and were jumping into unknown on big and unusual machines. Even though many of Verne’s imaginations seem rather funny than unbelievable nowadays we have a fantastic opportunity to watch the things, which he saw through the eyes of a fantast and which form a part of our everyday life these days. We are able to compare his fanciful machines with the existing ones and with those we are heading for. He let his imagination to run riot already in his first book called Five Weeks in a Balloon and at the time when people were only dreaming of flying he allowed his characters to experience 5 suspenseful weeks in the air. Several years later in the time when people slowly started to belief in the success of balloons his book about Robur the Conqueror and his airship Albatros with 76 screw propellers was published. And the readers were shocked again suspiciously shaking their heads. Not such a long time ago it was unimaginable to fly in the air and all of the sudden in the time when the sky was being conquered by already tested balloons Verne claims in his book that “the future belongs to flying machines” – machines heavier than air! And how is it today? There is a huge number of objects flying above our heads equipped with a body, wings and tails and safely heading for their destinations without erring and we are threatened when imagining that we had to board Robur the Conqueror ’s thundering and shacking flying machine. With the same preciseness Verne predicted the future success of automobiles, even though his small elephant driven by steam, on which his characters were travelling though the country of beasts, is miles away from current super modern and superfast cars. Verne did not leave out the electricity either, which is totally common thing these days. He even got further and dedicated the whole chapter called “Everything on electricity” of his book Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea to this miracle. Nowadays electrical engineers would only smile when listening to the stories of Captain Nemo about the way electricity is generated and used. Yet, even a century later it is still shocking how precise and apt was the electricity definition given by the main character:
„There is a strong, obeying, fast and easy to reach power, which can be used for everything. I use it to make light, it warms me up, and it is the heart of my machines. This power is called electricity “. Jules Verne went even further in his dreams. In the book called From the Earth to the Moon he sent his characters to the distant Moon in the time when the question of how to stay in the air was being solved.