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Jules Verne inspired by Amiens

Jules Verne was inspired by Amiens in his novels, although often it only transpires discreetly. However, in his 1875 novel, An Ideal City, it was much more obvious: the story sees him projected into the future and visiting a transformed version of Amiens.


In The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz (written in 1898 and published in 1910), Jules Verne incorporated a number of Amiens’ architectural and urban elements into an imaginary central European city: the boulevards with their parallel lanes, the train station, cathedral and citadel. His home on rue Charles-Dubois was a template for Doctor Roderich’s house with its porte cochère carriage entrance and huge garden, a stained-glass window corridor and a turret containing a spiral staircase. 


In the same way, you can picture the Excise Office in the description of the home of Wilhelm Storitz, the novel’s hero: “I saw a secluded house in the middle of a garden. [...] it strangely contrasted with the other properties on the boulevard. [...] A door opened up on the façade, hiding a flight of three run-down steps.”

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