A parable on Darwinian theory, and a biting social satire, H.G. Wells's science fiction classic The Island of Dr Moreau is a fascinating exploration of what it is to be human. This Penguin Classics edition is edited by Patrick Parrinder with notes by Steven McLean and an introduction by Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale.
Adrift in a dinghy, Edward Prendick, the single survivor from the good ship Lady Vain, is rescued by a vessel carrying a profoundly unusual cargo - a menagerie of savage animals. Tended to recovery by their keeper Montgomery, who gives him dark medicine that tastes of blood, Prendick soon finds himself stranded upon an uncharted island in the Pacific with his rescuer and the beasts. Here, he meets Montgomery's master, the sinister Dr. Moreau - a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments in vivisection have caused him to abandon the civilised world. It soon becomes clear he has been developing these experiments - with truly horrific results.
This edition includes a full biographical essay on Wells, a further reading list and detailed notes. Margaret Atwood's introduction explores the social and scientific relevance of this influential work.
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) was a professional writer and journalist. Wells's prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction, but later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress. Among his most popular works are The Time Machine (1895); The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), filmed with Bela Lugosi in 1932, and again in 1996 with Marlon Brando; The Invisible Man (1897); The War of the Worlds (1898), which was the subject of an Orson Welles radio adaptation that caused mass panic when it was broadcast, and a 2005 film directed by Stephen Spielberg; and The First Men in the Moon (1901), which predicted the first lunar landings.
If you enjoyed The Island of Doctor Moreau, you might like Wells's The Time Machine, also available in Penguin Classics.