Published in French as L'Île Mystérieuse in 1874, this novel is a sequel to Verne's earlier Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. It contains three main sections: Dropped From the Clouds, Abandoned, and The Secret of the Island. It was influenced by other books such as Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson. During the American Civil War, five Union prisoners of war decide to escape during the siege of Richmond, Virginia, by hijacking a balloon. The balloon lands on an uncharted island in the South Pacific and the men establish a new life on the island.