The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne . Illustrations by NC Wyeth. First published 1874. Caption reads: 'The courier of the air' JV French novelist 8 February 1828 Ð 24 March 1905. NCW: 1882-1945.  (the adventures of five Americans on an uncharted island in the South Pacific. During the American Civil War, five northern prisoners of war decide to escape, during the siege of Richmond, Virginia) (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images)