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About the book
  • Published: 20 April 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141441023
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $14.99

The Island Of Dr Moreau




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.

  • Pub date: 20 April 2005
  • ISBN: 9780141441023
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $14.99

About the Authors

H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells, the third son of a small shopkeeper, was born in Bromley in 1866. After two years' apprenticeship in a draper's shop, he became a pupil-teacher at Midhurst Grammar School and won a scholarship to study under T. H. Huxley at the Normal School of Science, South Kensington. He taught biology before becoming a professional writer and journalist. He wrote more than a hundred books, including novels, essays, histories and programmes for world regeneration.

Wells, who rose from obscurity to world fame, had an emotionally and intellectually turbulent life. His prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction such as The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). Later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress, whose anticipations of a future world state include The Shape of Things to Come (1933). His controversial views on sexual equality and women's rights were expressed in the novels Ann Veronica (1909) and The New Machiavelli (1911). He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, 'an important liberator of thought and action'.

Wells drew on his own early struggles in many of his best novels, including Love and Mr Lewisham (1900), Kipps (1905), Tono-Bungay (1909) and The History of Mr Polly (1910). His educational works, some written in collaboration, include The Outline of History (1920) and The Science of Life (1930). His Experiment in Autobiography (2 vols., 1934) reviews his world. He died in London in 1946.

H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, in 1866. After an education repeatedly interrupted by his family’s financial problems, he eventually found work as a teacher at a succession of schools, where he began to write his first stories.
Wells became a prolific writer with a diverse output, of which the famous works are his science fiction novels. These are some of the earliest and most influential examples of the genre, and include classics such as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds. Most of his books very well-received, and had a huge influence on many younger writers, including George Orwell and Isaac Asimov. Wells also wrote many popular non-fiction books, and used his writing to support the wide range of political and social causes in which he had an interest, although these became increasingly eccentric towards the end of his life.
Twice-married, Wells had many affairs, including a ten-year liaison with Rebecca West that produced a son. He died in London in 1946.


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