Jules Verne: a wonderful world to be discovered (2nd part)

No seguimento do que tinha dito anteriormente, apresento mais um excerto correspondente ao meu artigo em inglês para a revista online coordenada pela minha professora: a cool m@g. Como devem saber, o tema do texto é a vida e obra de um dos maiores heróis da História da Literatura e da Humanidade: Júlio Verne.

Este segmento debruça-se sobre os primeiros grandes projectos literários de Júlio Verne, desde as peças de teatro em Paris ao seu primeiro romance de aventuras, Cinco Semanas em Balão, bem como um importante momento da vida do escritor: o seu casamento duradouro com a bela Honorine Devianne.

Enfim, espero que aprendam um pouco mais sobre o assunto. Amanhã colocarei a terceira parte do artigo e será assim até ao fim da semana! Já sabem que estou totalmente receptivo a qualquer comentário ou crítica!

First Projects: Theatre Plays and Something Else

Júlio Verne em Paris, na flor da idade (jovem adulto)

Jules Verne at Paris by the time of his theatre plays

By this time, in the decade of 1850, Jules Verne needed to have some kind of job to subsist, thus he started working as a cambist, even though he didn’t enjoy it very much. Fortunately, he always had enough time to literary production and he eventually found himself writing theatre plays, since 1853. Lyricism was in vogue and Jules Verne was quite successful as a dramatist. His drama productions had a strong effect when they were put on stage, as well as the librettos he wrote for some operas. All these events were taken at Théatre-Lyrique and Bouffes-Parisiens.

With his playwriter carrier launched, Jules Verne obtained a prestigious status in Paris, feeding the dream of writing a romance. Beetween 1851 and 1853, a local magazine had already published some novels written by him. Therefore, why wouldn’t he be able to accept the challenge and try to write his first romance?

At the same time, Jules Verne met an iconic explorer and geographer, named Jacques Arago, who has been travelling by all parts of the world and managed to atract Jules with his wonderful stories of wonderful places, exotic cultures and entirely different realities. This would be determinant not only for his first adventures book, but for all titles from the Extraordinary Voyages.

Getting Married: Honorine Devianne

Honorine Devianne pela altura do casamento com Júlio Verne

Honorine Devianne by that time

By the time Jules Verne was shining with his theatre plays, his mother wrote him in order to talk seriosuly about the importance of getting married. Sophie Verne insisted a lot in this idea and tried different sorts of strategies to convince her son. Jules was not very excited at first, avoiding his mother advices by postponing the wedding. However, when one of his friends got married, he met Honorine Devianne and eventually fell in love with her. This happened on May 1856. One year later they were married.

Honorine was a widow and she had two daughters by the time she married Jules Verne. The new family started living in his house in Paris, but they moved a lot in the first years sfter the wedding. The only child of the couple, Michel Verne, was born in the 3rd of August 1861. By this time, Verne started travelling a lot, visiting Great-Britain with his friend Aristide Hignard. This was the begining of a new era of his life: wife, son and journeys all around the world.

First Romance: Five Weeks in a Balloon

Five Weeks in a Ballon: picture from the Hetzel illustrations

Five Weeks in a Ballon: picture from the Hetzel illustrations

The year of 1862 was quite special for Jules Verne since he wrote his first romance. With an established life in terms of family and some kind of inspiration resultant from the trips, Verne finally found out his greatest skills and produced a tremendous book: Five Weeks in a Balloon, a magnificent journey in a ballon over the African torrid landscapes. As he would need to talk to an editor if he wanted to publish the romance, he looked for Pierre-Jules Hetzel and showed him the manuscript.

Hetzel, who was an active republican and had played an important role in the political fights in the past, was a very respected editor at that time and had already worked together with Honoré de Balzac, Stendhal and George Sand. He appreciated Jules Verne’s romance and accepted publishing it. They sealed a contract and Five Weeks in a Balloon come to the bookshops in January 1863. There is no doubt the book was a huge success and it represented a turning point of the writer’s carrier and a very important step towards a strong friendship between Verne and Hetzel.


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