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 Illustré. 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. Mrs C. Hoey, 1897; An Antarctic Mystery, 1898.
Jules Verne’s works are published in an authorised and illustrated edition by Messrs Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd.
Chapter One. Lost or saved—Ayrton summoned—Important Discussion—It is not the Duncan—Suspicious Vessel—Precautions to be taken—The Ship approaches—A Cannon-Shot—The Brig anchors in Sight of the Island—Night comes on.
It was now two years and a half since the castaways from the balloon had been thrown on Lincoln Island, and during that period there had been no communication between them and their fellow-creatures. Once the reporter had attempted to communicate with the inhabited world by confiding to a bird a letter which contained the secret of their situation, but that was a chance on which it was impossible to reckon seriously. Ayrton, alone, under the circumstances which have been related, had come to join the little colony. Now, suddenly, on this day, the 17th of October, other men had unexpectedly appeared in sight of the island, on that deserted sea...!