Mysterious Island: about


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It is 1865 in Richmond, Virginia, towards the end of the American Civil War. Captain Cyrus Harding and his loyal companion Private Neb Brown are forced to surrender to Confederate troops.

Jack Pencroft, his wife Joanna and teenage son Herbert are arrested by Confederates for using their boat to smuggle slaves to freedom in Canada. British journalist Gideon Spilett is accused of spying when he is caught sketching an army observation balloon. All six of our characters meet in a Confederate jail and, when threatened with the firing squad, make a daring escape under gunfire, taking off in the gas-filled balloon.

A storm blows the balloon across America and then out to sea. It eventually crash-lands on what is later discovered to be a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean.

The castaways explore the island encountering such hazards as an earthquake, a landslide, a raging river, poisonous fruit, toxic fumes and tempestuous seas.

They realize that the dangers they confront seem to be more than accidents of nature and that some of the ways in which they are rescued are little short of miraculous. They suspect that a mysterious unseen presence seems to be controlling their lives.

It is finally revealed that this mysterious presence is Captain Nemo, a disillusioned scientific genius who has retreated from the world to live in his submarine, the Nautilus. He has given up all hope for the human race, believing it doesn't deserve to survive, given its inability to live in harmony.

Nemo watches everything the castaways do as they struggle to set up a new form of society, alternately despising their presence on his island, and being touched and impressed by their efforts.

The gravest danger the castaways face comes not from the elements, nor from the threatening volcano at the heart of the island, but from Captain Nemo, who is a powerful, unpredictable force. Their very survival depends on their ability to pit their wits against Nemo, a genius teetering on the verge of madness.