Jules Verne

The Mysterious Island

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Summary
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne - is a novel by Jules Verne, published in 1875. The original edition, published by Hetzel, contains a number of illustrations by Jules Férat. The novel is a crossover sequel to Verne's famous Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (1870) and In Search of the Castaways (1867-68), though its themes are vastly different from those books. An early draft of the novel, initially rejected by Verne's publisher and wholly reconceived before publication, was titled Shipwrecked Family: Marooned with Uncle Robinson, seen as indicating the influence of the novels Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson. Verne developed a similar theme in his later novel, Godfrey Morgan (French: L'École des Robinsons, 1882). Plot summary During the American Civil War, five Northern prisoners of war escape during the Siege of Richmond, Virginia, by hijacking a hydrogen-filled observation balloon. The escapees are Cyrus Smith, a railroad engineer in the Union army (named Cyrus Harding in Kingston's version); his ex-slave and loyal follower Neb (short for Nebuchadnezzar); Bonadventure Pencroff, a sailor (who is addressed only by his surname; in Kingston's translation, he is named Pencroft); his protégé and adopted son Harbert Brown (called Herbert in some translations); and the journalist Gedéon Spilett (Gideon Spilett in English versions). The company is completed by Cyrus's dog "Top". After flying in a great storm for several days, the group crash-lands on a cliff-bound, volcanic, unknown island, described as being located at 34°57_S 150°30_W (Southern Pacific Ocean/Asian:Oceanian side), about 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) east of New Zealand. They name it "Lincoln Island" in honor of Abraham Lincoln. With the knowledge of the brilliant engineer Smith, the five are able to sustain themselves on the island, producing fire, pottery, bricks, nitroglycerin, iron, an electric telegraph, a cave home inside a stony cliff called "Granite House", and even a seaworthy ship, which they name the "Bonadventure". During their stay on the island, the group endures bad weather and domesticates an orangutan, Jupiter, abbreviated to Jup (or Joop, in Jordan Stump's translation). There is a mystery on the island in the form of an unseen deus ex machina, responsible for Cyrus' survival after falling from the balloon, the mysterious rescue of Top from a dugong, the appearance of a box of equipment (guns and ammunition, tools, etc.), and other seemingly inexplicable occurrences. The group finds a message in a bottle directing them to rescue a castaway on nearby Tabor Island, who is none other than Tom Ayrton (from In Search of the Castaways). On the return voyage to Lincoln Island, they lose their way in a tempest but are guided back to their course by a mysterious fire beacon.
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Release date
28.08.2023
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Abridged
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Runtime
21 hours 27 minutes
Explicit
Yes
From the same publisher
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From the same authors
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