Sunday, 12 August 2007

(JAN 15) Born on this day: Pierre-Jules Hetzel

Image: the cover for Jules Verne’s Les Aventures du Capitaine Hatteras au Pôle Nord, type “Aux deux Éléphants”, by Pierre-Jules Hetzel. (public domain); text adapted from Wikipedia.

Born 15 January 1814, Pierre-Jules Hetzel was the French editor and publisher best known for his discovery of Jules Verne and his extraordinary illustrated editions of Verne’s novels, such as the collected Voyages Extraordinaires (‘Extraordinary Travels’).

Hetzel was to later reject Verne’s 1863 manuscript for Paris in the Twentieth Century because he thought it presented a vision of the future that was far too negative and unbelievable for contemporary audiences, though to many present-day scholars the story was remarkably accurate in its predictions. Verne locked the manuscript away and no longer wrote any futuristic, dystopian stories. Paris in the Twentieth Century was not rediscovered until over a century later, and was first published in France in 1994.

No comments: