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Captain Nemo's origin

or Who is this Nemo guy?

Several people have come to this site in search of the origin of Captain Nemo
We know he is a character in Jules Verns '20,000 Leagues under the sea' but, in 20,000 leagues under the sea his history is left mostly a mystery, for a more detailed account you have to read Jules Vern's 'Mysterious island'
Here's the passage:

Captain Nemo was an Indian, the Prince Dakkar, son of a rajah of the then independent territory of Bundelkund. His father sent him, when ten years of age, to Europe, in order that he might receive an education in all respects complete, and in the hopes that by his talents and knowledge he might one day take a leading part in raising his long degraded and heathen country to a level with the nations of Europe.


From the age of ten years to that of thirty Prince Dakkar, endowed by Nature with her richest gifts of intellect, accumulated knowledge of every kind, and in science, literature, and art his researches were extensive and profound.


He traveled over the whole of Europe. His rank and fortune caused him to be everywhere sought after; but the pleasures of the world had for him no attractions. Though young and possessed of every personal advantage, he was ever grave--somber even--devoured by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and cherishing in the recesses of his heart the hope that he might become a great and powerful ruler of a free and enlightened people.


Still, for long the love of science triumphed over all other feelings. He became an artist deeply impressed by the marvels of art, a philosopher to whom no one of the higher sciences was unknown, a statesman versed in the policy of European courts. To the eyes of those who observed him superficially he might have passed for one of those cosmopolitans, curious of knowledge, but disdaining action; one of those opulent travelers, haughty and cynical, who move incessantly from place to place, and are of no country.


The history of Captain Nemo has, in fact, been published under the title of "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." Here, therefore, will apply the observation already made as to the adventures of Ayrton with regard to the discrepancy of dates. Readers should therefore refer to the note already published on this point.


This artist, this philosopher, this man was, however, still cherishing the hope instilled into him from his earliest days.


Prince Dakkar returned to Bundelkund in the year 1849. He married a noble Indian lady, who was imbued with an ambition not less ardent than that by which he was inspired. Two children were born to them, whom they tenderly loved. But domestic happiness did not prevent him from seeking to carry out the object at which he aimed. He waited an opportunity. At length, as he vainly fancied, it presented itself.


Instigated by princes equally ambitious and less sagacious and more unscrupulous than he was, the people of India were persuaded that they might successfully rise against their English rulers, who had brought them out of a state of anarchy and constant warfare and misery, and had established peace and prosperity in their country. Their ignorance and gross superstition made them the facile tools of their designing chiefs.


In 1857 the great sepoy revolt broke out. Prince Dakkar, under the belief that he should thereby have the opportunity of attaining the object of his long-cherished ambition, was easily drawn into it. He forthwith devoted his talents and wealth to the service of this cause. He aided it in person; he fought in the front ranks; he risked his life equally with the humblest of the wretched and misguided fanatics; he was ten times wounded in twenty engagements, seeking death but finding it not, but at length the sanguinary rebels were utterly defeated, and the atrocious mutiny was brought to an end.


Never before had the British power in India been exposed to such danger, and if, as they had hoped, the sepoys had received assistance from without, the influence and supremacy in Asia of the United Kingdom would have been a thing of the past.


The name of Prince Dakkar was at that time well known. He had fought openly and without concealment. A price was set upon his head, but he managed to escape from his pursuers.


Civilization never recedes; the law of necessity ever forces it onwards. The sepoys were vanquished, and the land of the rajahs of old fell again under the rule of England.


Prince Dakkar, unable to find that death he courted, returned to the mountain fastnesses of Bundelkund. There, alone in the world, overcome by disappointment at the destruction of all his vain hopes, a prey to profound disgust for all human beings, filled with hatred of the civilized world, he realized the wreck of his fortune, assembled some score of his most faithful companions, and one day disappeared, leaving no trace behind.


Where, then, did he seek that liberty denied him upon the inhabited earth? Under the waves, in the depths of the ocean, where none could follow.


The warrior became the man of science. Upon a deserted island of the Pacific he established his dockyard, and there a submarine vessel was constructed from his designs. By methods which will at some future day be revealed he had rendered subservient the illimitable forces of electricity, which, extracted from inexhaustible sources, was employed for all the requirements of his floating equipage, as a moving, lighting, and heating agent. The sea, with its countless treasures, its myriads of fish, its numberless wrecks, its enormous mammalia, and not only all that nature supplied, but also all that man had lost in its depths, sufficed for every want of the prince and his crew--and thus was his most ardent desire accomplished, never again to hold communication with the earth. He named his submarine vessel the "Nautilus," called himself simply Captain Nemo, and disappeared beneath the seas.





Links to Captain Nemo

Links and quotes from Captain Nemo

Like Captain Nemo's voyage's into the sea, we drift the endless currents of the internet.
Where will we surface next? Only the Captain truly knows.
Dive in with Captain Nemo.


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"I am not what you call a civilized man! I have done with society
entirely, for reasons which I alone have the right of appreciating.

I do not, therefore, obey its laws, and I desire you never to allude to them before me again!"
- Captain Nemo

"Strike, mad vessel! Shower your useless shot! And then, you will not escape the spur of the Nautilus."- Captain Nemo


"I am the law, and I am the judge! I am the oppressed,
and there is the oppressor! Through him I have lost all that I loved, cherished,
and venerated--country, wife, children, father, and mother.
I saw all perish! All that I hate is here!" - Captain Nemo
-- Excerpts from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne


"Come Forward! Come Forward, men of England! Tell the gods that Nemo sent you!" - Captain Nemo
-- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1, No. 6


But what has become of the Nautilus? Did it resist the pressure of the maelstrom?
Does Captain Nemo still live? And does he still follow under the ocean those frightful retaliations?
Or, did he stop after that last hecatomb?
Will the waves one day carry to him this manuscript containing the history of his life?
Shall I ever know the name of this man?
Will the missing vessel tell us by its nationality that of Captain Nemo?
I hope so. And I also hope that his powerful vessel has conquered the sea at its most terrible gulf,
and that the Nautilus has survived where so many other vessels have been lost!
If it be so- if Captain Nemo still inhabits the ocean, his adopted country,
may hatred be appeased in that savage heart! May the contemplation of so many wonders extinguish forever the spirit of
vengeance! May the judge disappear, and the philosopher continue the peaceful exploration of the sea!
If his his destiny be strange, it is also sublime. Have I not understood it myself? Have I not lived ten months of this this unnatural life?
And to the question asked by Ecclesiastes 3,000 years ago, "That which is far off and exceeding deep, who can find it out?" two men alone of all now living have the right to give an answer - CAPTAIN NEMO AND MYSELF.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea



In 1838, the Englishman Wilkes went along the hundredth meridian as far as the sixty-ninth parallel. In 1839, the Englishman Balleny discovered Sabrina Land on the edge of the Antarctic Circle. Then on January 12, 1842, the Englishman James Ross, commanding the Erebus and the Terror, discovered Victoria Land at 76o 56' S. Lat. and 171o 7' E. Long. On the twenty-third of the same month he reached the seventy-fourth parallel, the farthest point attained till then; on the twenty-seventh he reached 76o 8', on the twenty-eighth 77o 32' and on February 2 78o 4'. Later in 1842, he returned but could get no farther than the seventy-first parallel. And then on March 21, 1868, 1, Captain Nemo, reached the South Pole at a latitude of 90o and took possession of this portion of the globe equal in area to a sixth of all known continents.' " Captain Nemo



Professor Aronnax: "You cannot do this! This is uncivilized!"

Captain Nemo: "I am not what is called a civilized man, professor. I have done with society for reasons that seem good to me, therefore I do not obey its laws."

- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

"On the Nautilus men's hearts never fail them. No defects to be afraid of, for the double shell is as firm as iron; no rigging to attend to;
no sails for the wind to carry away; no boilers to burst; no fire to fear, for the vessel is made of iron, not of wood; no coal to run short,
for electricity is the only mechanical agent; no collision to fear,
for it alone swims in deep water; no tempest to brave, for when it dives below the water it reaches absolute tranquillity.
There, sir! that is the perfection of vessels! And if it is true that the engineer has more confidence in the vessel than the builder,
and the builder than the captain himself,
you understand the trust I repose in my Nautilus; for I am at once captain, builder, and engineer." - Captain Nemo

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