Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Island of Dr Moreau

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d7835 (Published 07 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7835
  1. Krishna Chinthapalli, clinical research fellow, Department of Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London WC1N 3BG

The Island of Dr Moreau was the follow-up to HG Wells’s hugely successful science fiction novel, The Time Machine, and both novels reflect his fascination with evolution. Essentially the book is an island adventure that also explores the murky and controversial world of vivisection (operating on living animals for the purpose of research or demonstration).

The tale begins when the narrator, Edward Prendick, is shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean and eventually rescued by a passing ship carrying a cargo of exotic animals to an unnamed island. There, in a fit of anger, the ship’s captain throws Prendick overboard. Ashore on the island, Prendick is …

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