Jules Verne (1828–1905), born in Nantes, France, was the author of innumerable adventure stories that combined a vivid imagination with a gift for popularizing science. Although he had studied law in Paris, he devoted his life entirely to writing. His most popular stories in addition to Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) include A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and The Mysterious Island (1874–75), all available in Signet Classics editions. In addition, he was the author of a number of successful plays, as well as a popular history of exploration from Phoenician times to the mid-nineteenth century, The Discovery of the Earth (1878–80). After a long and active career in literature, Jules Verne died at Amiens, France.
Herbert Lottman, a longtime resident of France, was the correspondent for a number of American and British periodicals and literary magazines. Among his twenty-seven books are biographies of Jules Verne, Albert Camus, Colette, and Gustave Flaubert, as well as of The Left Bank: Writers, Artists and Politics from the Popular Front to the Cold War, The Purge (on postwar punishment of Nazi collaborators), and The Fall of Paris: June 1940, all published in both the United States and France.
Karen J. Renner teaches American literature and popular culture at Northern Arizona University. She has published essays on the apocalypse, the Antichrist, horror films, and reality ghost-hunting television shows. She is the editor of The “Evil” Child in Literature, Film and Popular Culture, a collection of essays.