Eyraud, Achille (19th century)

Achille Eyraud was a French writer whose Voyage à Vénus (Voyage to Venus), published in 1863, describes the journey of a spacecraft propelled by a "reaction engine" – one of the earliest references to a true interplanetary rocket in science fiction. Unfortunately, Eyraud's grasp of the physics involved becomes somewhat muddled and, in any case, his work was overshadowed by another French space novel which came out in the same year. This was Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.