Jules Verne vs. H.G. Wells

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Difference between Jules Verne and H.G. Wells

Science fiction is a field that certainly has no shortage of notable figures, but among them, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells would have to be the most influential and most significant. Both remarkable visionaries that have left indelible marks on the world’s collective imagination, their careers are definitely worthy of comparison. In this article, we take a look at the accomplishments and distinguishing characteristics of both notable figures.

Jules Verne
H.G. Wells

Profile

Jules Verne was a French author who was born on February 8, 1828. Widely recognized as a pioneer of science-fiction writing, Verne died on March 24, 1905.

H.G. Wells was an English author who was born on September 21, 1866. Also renowned for his contributions to the science fiction genre, Wells died on August 13, 1946.

Accomplishments

Jules Verne is known mainly for his science-fiction novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in Eighty Days. In these novels and his other works, Verne actually wrote about space, air, and underwater travel long before the means to undertake such journeys were invented. A few of his works have been made into films, and he is widely considered to be one of the "Fathers of Science Fiction".

H.G. Wells also achieved acclaim as a science-fiction writer, although he produced works in numerous other genres as well. In fact, Wells was a noted author who produced contemporary novels in addition to historical, political and social commentary works. Like Verne, Wells is considered one of the key figures in the development of the sci-fi genre.

Key Differences

One of the major differences between the two had to do with the technicality of their work. Jules Verne was particularly focused on technical details, and it is said that the vessel he wrote about in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea can be built based on his descriptions alone, due to his precise detail and accuracy. Wells for his part wasn’t as focused on the technical aspects, and he was often the subject of criticism from Verne because of this.

A more significant difference between the two is apparent in how they each expressed their views on mankind in general. While Verne was clearly an optimist, Wells took on quite the opposite approach. Despite the heavy dramatic content of his work, Verne often employed science as a means of empowering his characters. This is particularly apparent in Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Wells on the other hand often criticized the class system prevalent in English society, and often hinted at the potential hazards that technology posed to mankind. Wells also predicted atom splitting long before anyone else did so, and when it was finally a reality, he campaigned against it vigorously, although to no avail.

Similarities and Differences

Jules Verne

  • Known for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in Eighty Days
  • Wrote about space, air, and underwater travel long before the means to undertake such journeys were invented

H.G. Wells

  • A science-fiction writer who produced works in numerous other genres as well
  • He campaigned vigorously against atom splitting, a technology he predicted many years previously

 
 

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