The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island

There are few themes so appealing such as the experience of shipwreck on an unknown island. Since the publication in 1719 of Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe, many writers have been constantly exploring this exciting theme.

One of the most famous was, undoubtedly, the French writer Jules Verne (1828-1905). Considered by some just an influential author in the science-fiction genre, he was, certainly, much more than that. It is true that he favors a sort of literature in which unusual adventures unfold in exotic places abound. But at the same time his stories can hide much deeper meanings.

At first sight The Mysterious Island seems to be just a novel about a group of shipwrecked people struggling to survive on an island full of secrets. And that is not bad at all. But more than that, it can be read as a metaphor for our lives into a world which can be dangerously hostile to any seeker of Paradise. At the same time, the majestic figure of captain Nemo, an indian prince named Dakkar, evokes tragic episodes of recent history which caused this sub-aquatic wanderer to flee from the modern world. If young people can be delighted by the adventures of the five shipwrecked adventurers, adults will find important topics – both historical and political – to think about.


  • Author: Jules Gabriel Verne (1828-1905)
  • Original title: L’Île mystérieuse
  • Original language: French
  • Genre: Adventure novel
  • The period of creation: 1869-1870
  • Publication year: 1875
  • Public: Adults, teenagers
The Mysterious Island