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The Secret of the Island   By: (1828-1905)

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The Secret of the Island, by W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne).

This book is a translation from the French original by Jules Verne. In fact several of Kingston's significant contributions to English literature have been translations, "The Swiss Family Robinson" being one such.

This book is a sequel to "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea". A party of British adventurers, who had been ballooning, but whose trip had ended by being cast away on a Pacific island, have various setbacks due to both pirates and convicts who had escaped from jails in mainland Australasia. They realise that at times there appears to be some kind of entity that is looking after them.

This entity proves to be none other than Captain Nemo whom the reader is expected to have met before with his submarine "Nautilus" in "20,000 Leagues". Captain Nemo has been living in a huge cave inside the very volcanic island, where he is surrounded with immense wealth. But he is nearing the end of his life. We are present at his end. But what happens after that is of great interest.

The book is not very long and is profusely illustrated. It makes a very good audiobook of seven hours duration.



The Secret of the Island was another of the series of Voyages Extraordinaires which ran through a famous Paris magazine for younger readers, the Magasin Illustre . It formed the third and completing part of the Mysterious Island set of tales of adventure. We may count it, taken separately, as next to Robinson Crusoe and possibly Treasure Island , the best read and the best appreciated book in all that large group of island tales and sea stories to which it belongs. It gained its vogue immediately in France, Great Britain, and overseas besides being translated, with more or less despatch, into other European tongues. M. Jules Verne must indeed have gained enough by it and its two connective tales to have acquired an island of his own. The present book was translated into English by the late W.H.G. Kingston; and is printed in Everyman's Library by special exclusive arrangement with Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd., 1909.

The list of tales and romances by Jules Verne includes the following:

Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1870; A Journey to the Centre of the Earth, translated by J.V., 1872; tr. F.A. Malleson, 1876; Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, 1873; tr. H. Frith, 1876; From the Earth to the Moon, and a Trip Round it, tr. Q. Mercier and E.G. King, 1873; The English at the North Pole, 1873; Meridiana: Adventures of Three English and Three Russians, 1873; Dr Ox's Experiment and other Stories, 1874; A Floating City, 1874; The Blockade Runners, 1874; Around the World in Eighty Days; tr. G.M. Towle and N. D'Anvers, 1874, 1876; tr. H. Frith, 1879; The Fur Country, or Seventy Degrees North Latitude, tr. N. D'Anvers, 1874; tr. H. Frith, 1879; The Mysterious Island, tr. W.H.G. Kingston, 1875; The Survivors of the Chancellor : Diary of J.R. Kazallon, tr. E. Frewer, 1875; Martin Paz, tr. E. Frewer, 1876; Field of Ice, 1876; Child of the Cavern, tr. W.H.G. Kingston, 1877; Michael Strogoff, tr. W.H.G. Kingston, 1877; A Voyage Round the World, 1877; Hector Servadac, tr. E. Frewer, 1878; Dick Sands, the Boy Captain, tr. E. Frewer, 1879; Celebrated Travels and Travellers: The Great Navigators of the Eighteenth Century, tr. Dora Leigh, N. D'Anvers, etc., 1879 81; Tribulations of a Chinaman, tr. E. Frewer, 1880; The Begum's Fortune, tr. W.H.G. Kingston, 1880; The Steam House, tr. A.D. Kingston, 1881; The Giant Raft, W.J. Gordon, 1881; Godfrey Morgan, 1S83; The Green Ray, tr. M. de Hauteville, 1883; The Vanished Diamond, 1885; The Archipelago on Fire, 1886; Mathias Sandorf, 1886; Keraban the Inflexible, 1887; The Lottery Ticket, 1887; Clipper of the Clouds, 1887; The Flight to France, or Memoirs of a Dragoon, 1888; North against South: Story of the American Civil War, 1888; Adrift in the Pacific, 1889; Cesar Cacabel, 1891; The Purchase of the North Pole, 1891; A Family without a Name, 1891; Mistress Branican, 1892; Claudius Bombarnac, 1894; Foundling Mick, 1895; Clovis Dardentor, 1897; For the Flag, tr... Continue reading book >>

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