Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Did You Know? 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Since we were able to spend some time with Captain Nemo yesterday, we'll be featuring some fun facts about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and it's author, Jules Verne. Every time I research these facts, I always discover something that I never knew. Often, I learn about something that influenced the writer, or that I can relate to as a writer. Let's see if that's the case this time around.

 Did You Know...
  • That 20,000 leagues doesn't refer to the depth that they travel, but to the distance? If you traveled 20,000 leagues, you would circle the Earth six times.
  • In the original version, Nemo was a Polish nobleman whose family was killed by Russians?
  • The book's sequel, Mysterious Island, reveals Nemo's Indian heritage? This was changed at the request of Verne's publishers, because at the time France was an ally of Russia.
  • The book was first published in France in 1870 and was translated into English by Lewis Mercier in 1872?
  • The Nautilus accurately foreshadowed today's modern submarines in its high speed capability and covert operations? Unlike today's subs, however, it was able to dive to any depth.
  • Jules Verne was way ahead of his time, writing about space, air, and underwater travel among other things? Many of his descriptions of these futuristic adventures were eerily similar to what mankind has actually achieved.
  • Verne began writing libretti for operettas before turning to novels?
  • In his school days, Verne received writing advice from Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas?
  • Verne was shot by his nephew? One bullet hit him in the leg, which left him with a limp for the last 19 years of his life.
  • In 1863 Verne wrote a book entitled Paris in the 20th Century? In the book he describes glass skyscrapers, gasoline powered automobiles, high speed trains, and calculators. Verne put the manuscript in a safe for future publication, where it was discovered by his great-grandson in 1989. Weird, huh?
So, that's the scoop. Now, here's the trailer from the Disney version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Funny how Disney has a version for just about every great classic children's story.

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