The world's first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, was named after Nemo's vessel. Launched in 1955, the real Nautilus was also the first vessel to travel beneath the North Pole. Coincidence? We think not.
Conseil is named after Jules Verne's friend, Jacques-François Conseil. Jacques-François tested a real-life submarine—complete with a hatch, viewing chamber, and propeller—in 1858.
Verne's editor, Pierre-Jules Hetzel, forced Verne to make significant revisions to the book. For one thing, he wanted to make Nemo look like more of a bad guy. Verne, however, was more sympathetic to Nemo's character.