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Island of Doctor Moreau

by HG Wells and Mason Harris Broadview Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 292 pages
AU$31.99 NZ$33.90
Product Status: In Stock Now
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A classic of science fiction and a dark meditation on Darwinian thought in the late Victorian period, The Island of Doctor Moreau explores the possibility of civilization as a constraint imposed on savage human nature. The protagonist, Edward Prendick, finds himself stranded on an island with the notorious Doctor Moreau, whose experiments on the islands humans and animals result in unspeakable horrors. The critical introduction to this Broadview Edition gives particular emphasis to Wells's hostility towards religion as well as his thorough knowledge of the Darwinian thought of his time.


Appendices provide passages from Darwin and Huxley related to Wells's early writing; in addition, excerpts from other writers illustrate late-nineteenth-century anxieties about social degeneration.



H.G. Wells: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

The Island of Doctor Moreau

Appendix A: Wells on Wells: from Experiment in Autobiography (1934)

Appendix B: Wells on Moreau and Science Fiction

1. H.G. Wells, from "The Romance of the Scientist: an Interview with Mr. H. G. Wells" (1897)
2. H.G. Wells, from "Preface," The Works of H. G. Wells, Vol. 2 (1924)
3. H.G. Wells, from "Preface," The Scientific Romances of H.G. Wells (1933)

Appendix C: Reviews of Moreau and a letter of protest by Wells

Appendix D: Evolution and Struggle I: Tennyson, Darwin, and early Huxley

1. Alfred Tennyson, from In Memoriam (1850)
2. Charles Darwin, from The Origin of Species (1859, 1872)
3. Thomas H. Huxley, from Man's Place in Nature (1863)
4. Charles Darwin, from The Descent of Man (1871)
5. Charles Darwin, from The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872)
6. H.G. Wells. From Text-book of Biology, 1893.
7. H.G. Wells. From "The Rediscovery of the Unique," 1891
8. H.G. Wells, from "The Mind in Animals" (1894)

Appendix E: Evolution and Struggle II: Later Huxley and Wells

1. Thomas H. Huxley, from "The Struggle for Existence in Human Society" (1888)
2. Thomas H. Huxley, from "An Apologetic Irenicon" (1892)
3. Thomas H. Huxley, from "Ethics and Evolution" (1893, 1894)
4. H.G. Wells, from "Bio-Optimism" (1895)
5. H.G. Wells, from "Human Evolution, an Artificial Process" (1896)
6. H. G. Wells, from "The Acquired Factor" (1897)
7. H.G. Wells, from "Morals and Civilization" (1897)
8. H.G. Wells, from "Human Evolution: Mr. Wells Replies" (1897)

Appendix F: Degeneration and Madness

1. Charles Darwin, from The Descent of Man (1871)
2. H.G. Wells, from "The Problems of the Birth Supply" (1903)
3. H.G. Wells, from A Modern Utopia (1905)
4. Gina Lombroso-Ferrero, from Criminal Man According to the Classification of Cesare Lombroso (1911)
5. Cesare Lombroso, from Crime: Its Causes and Remedies (1911)
6. William James, from The Principles of Psychology (1891, 1892)
7. Jacques-Joseph Moreau, from Morbid Psychology (1859)
8. Gustave Le Bon, from The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895, 1896)
9. H.G. Wells, from The Croquet Player (1936)

Appendix G: The Vivisection Controversy

1. Claude Bernard, from Report on the Progress and Development of General Physiology in France (1867)
2. Michael Foster, from Claude Bernard (1899)
3. Claude Bernard, from An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Science (1865)
4. George Hoggan (and R.H. Hutton), from a letter published in the Spectator (1875)
5. R.H. Hutton, testimony from Report of the Royal Commission on the practice of subjecting live animals to experiments for scientific purposes (1876)
6. Dr. Emanuel Klein, testimony from Report of the Royal Commission on the practice of subjecting live animals to experiments for scientific purposes (1876)
7. Francis Power Cobbe, from Life of Frances Power Cobbe. By Herself (1894)
8. H.G. Wells, from Text-Book of Biology (1893)
9. H.G. Wells, from "Popular Feeling and the Advancement of Science. Anti-Vivisection" (1928)

Appendix H: Two essays by Wells relevant to Moreau's argument in Chapter Fourteen--"Dr. Moreau Explains"

1. H.G. Wells, from "The Province of Pain" (1894)
2. H.G. Wells, from "The Limits of Individual Plasticity" (1895)

Appendix I: "The terrible Medusa case": an historical source for Prendick's shipwreck: from Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal (1818) by J.B. Savigny and Alexander Corréard

Appendix J: Wells's first draft of Moreau: from "The First Moreau," The Island of Doctor Moreau: A Variorum Text (1993), edited by Robert M. Philmus

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'The Broadview Edition of The Island of Doctor Moreau restores this greatest of all post-Darwinian island fables to its original context. In his introduction, Mason Harris provides a lively account of the evolutionary debates that influenced the novel's construction and an informative overview of criticism to date. Appendices show the controversy generated by Moreau's publication, situate the final text alongside early drafts and Wells's journalism, and reprint scientific and literary sources crucial to understanding the novel. This edition will appeal to both those in the academy and the general reader, and is to be strongly recommended.' Steven McLean, H.G. Wells Society 'Mason Harris provides the reader with essential connections between The Island of Doctor Moreau and the scientific and philosophical debates that raged in the Victorian world. This edition provides vital insight that allows the reader to slice through the shadows of Moreau's House of Pain and emerge into the true turn-of-the-century horror that H.G. Wells constructed. The appendices, including samples of Wells's scientific journalism, help bring focus to the complexity of the author's vision.' Eric Cash, editor of The Undying Fire: The Journal of The H.G. Wells Society, the Americas, 2001-2005 Abraham Baldwin College
Mason Harris is a retired Professor of English at Simon Fraser University.