Our February book of the month — The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd — is based on the classic novel The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells. So if you’re diving into Shepherd’s delightful new take on this Gothic classic, it’s worth taking a look at her inspiration, as well!
The Island of Dr. Moreau follows shipwrecked Englishman Edward Prendick — who becomes stranded on an island owned by mysterious Dr. Moreau and his assistant Montgomery. There, he discovers that Moreau — a disgraced British doctor — is vivisecting animals and attempting to turn them into humanoid creatures.
You can read a more in-depth breakdown of the plot for The Island of Dr. Moreau on Wikipedia (though we really recommend you just read the original book) — plus explore more about the characters and other adaptations.
Themes to explore while reading The Island of Dr. Moreau (and comparing it to The Madman’s Daughter) include:
- Divine Creation
- Human Nature vs. Culture/Society
- Genetic Engineering
- Human Identity
On her website, Shepherd also recommends these links for more information:
- The Victorian Dictionary: Lots of primary and secondary references on Victorian life and culture.
- HG Wells Society: information about the author and his works
- Top 10 Classic Gothic Novels: as selected by Paul Murray with The Guardian
- Victorian Web: All things Victorian
- What Makes a Gothic Novel: Characteristics and examples of Gothic literature and architecture