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Le Crotoy

At sea and under the sea

I first discovered Le Crotoy in 1865, when I visited for health reasons. This is a small port, where I would spend several weeks. From then on, my family and I would rent a villa to come back to every summer.

It was in Le Crotoy that I set about writing Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, a novel enriched by the impressions I gathered in contact with the sea, by talking to sailors or heading to sea onboard a boat that I bought, the Saint-Michel.

In March 1869, we left the villa to occupy a slightly larger house located on Rue Jeanne d'Arc (now Quai Léonard). This is a dependency of the property that once belonged to the poet Millevoye. I began to think about leaving Paris and settling in Le Crotoy, and so I rented this house all year round and had some work done to it.

On 15 July 1870, the war between France and Germany began and I was mobilised to Le Crotoy, now my legal residence.

In July 1871, I finally decided to settle in Amiens, a large city. But that wasn’t the end of my trips to Le Crotoy:⁠ every summer, until 1875, I would return to my Saint-Michel in the small port of the Somme Bay.