Pierre-Jules Hetzel

Pierre-Jules Hetzel

Pierre-Jules Hetzel (January 15, 1814 – March 17, 1886) was a French editor and publisher. He is best known for his extraordinarily lavishly illustrated editions of Jules Verne's novels highly prized by collectors today. Hetzel was also the principal editor of Victor Hugo and other French writers.


Born in Chartres, Hetzel studied law in Strasbourg, and founded a publishing company in 1837. He was the publisher of Honoré de Balzac, whose "Comédie humaine" began to be appear in 1841, and of Victor Hugo and Émile Zola. In 1843, he founded the "Nouveau magazine des enfants" ("New Children's Magazine"). Hetzel was a well-known republican, and in 1848 he became chief of cabinet for Alphonse de Lamartine (then minister of Foreign Affairs), and afterward for the minister of the Navy. He went into self-imposed exile in Belgium after the coup d'État which ushered in the Second Empire, and there he continued his political and editiorial activities, notably clandestinely publishing Hugo's "Les Châtiments", a harsh pamphlet against the Second Empire.

When the political regime was liberalised in France, he returned to France and published Proudhon and Baudelaire. A notable edition of the tales by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Gustave Doré, dates from this period. He founded the "Bibliothèque illustrée des Familles" ("The Family Illustrated Library"), which was renamed to "Magasin d'éducation et de récréation" ("Education and Entertainment Magazine") in 1864. His idea was to have scientists, authors and illustrators collaborating to create educative works. In the ambient positivism of the time, the position was not an easy one.

His fame comes mostly for his editions of the "Voyages Extraordinaires" ("Extraordinary Journeys") by Jules Verne. The stories were originally published in biweekly chapters as a series in his "Magasin". Once all chapters of a story were printed there, the story would appear in bookform. Typically this happened towards the end of the year so the books could be purchased as Christmas presents for older children. Originally, there were three editions: one economical, without illustrations; another one in small format, with a few illustrations; and a third one in a bigger format and richly illustrated. It is the last edition that is now very popular among book collectors.

Hetzel discovered Jules Verne, but scholars still debate how far Hetzel "made" Verne, or if Verne even 'made' Hetzel's publishing career. Both benefitted from the other, and their relationship went beyond that of author and publisher.

Hetzel rejected 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 futuristic, dystopian stories. "Paris in the Twentieth Century" was first published in France in 1994.

Pierre-Jules Hetzel was also an author for the youth, under the pseudonym P.-J. Stahl. He died in Monte-Carlo in 1886. After his death, the publishing business was directed by his son, and later purchased by Hachette in 1914.

ee also

For more examples of the pictures featured in the books:
* "Captain Nemo"
* "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"
* "Nautilus"

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Rama/Verne_drawings Engravings used in original edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea] in Wikipedia editor "Rama" area

External links

* [http://hetzel.free.fr/index.html Les Cartonages Hetzel] (in French). An authoritative site to identify a Jules Verne book.

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  • Pierre-Jules Hetzel — Naissance 15 janvier 1814 Chartres Décès 17 mars 1886 (à 72 ans) Monte Carlo Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Pierre-Jules Hetzel — Ein typisches, reich illustriertes Cover der von Hetzel herausgegebenen Bücher. Pierre …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pierre-Jules Hetzel — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pierre Jules Hetzel. Pierre Jules Hetzel (15 de enero de 1814 17 de marzo de 1886) fue un editor y escritor francés, mejor conocido por publicar los Viajes extraordinarios de Jules Verne. También fue …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jules Hetzel — Pierre Jules Hetzel Pierre Jules Hetzel Naissance 15 janvier 1815 Chartres Décès 17 mars 1886 (à 72 ans) Monte Carlo Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hetzel, Pierre-Jules — (1814 1886)    publisher, writer, political figure    Born in Chartres, Pierre Jules Hetzel published novels under the pseudonym P. J. stahl. He is above all famous as an editor. Beginning as a clerk in Paris in 1836 at the publisher Paulin, he… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

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  • Hetzel — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Friedrich Hetzel (1804–1886), deutscher Bankier Hans Hetzel (1926–1988), Protagonist eines bedeutenden Kriminalfalls ( Fall Hetzel ) in den 1950er und 1960er Jahren Hans Hetzel (Politiker) (1870–1949),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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