This is a spring break post, mostly a place-holder, with a bit of book promotion too. Regular posting resumes April 4th.
The plot of The Island of Doctor Moreau features a common 19th-century technique, the “found document,” and although it’s not as explicit about it as some novels, seeing what the fictional author (Prendick, not Wells) chooses to include and not include is an important part of reading the story. Here I’m referring to a significant example: that after Prendick’s description of his first week or so on the island, there’s a six-week gap in his account. Just before the gap ends the drama with the Leopard Man (the end of chapter 16), and just after the gap, begins the drama of the Puma Woman’s escape from the laboratory (the beginning of chapter 17).
In the interest of brevity, I’m skipping my discussion of gender and the Beast Women in general, as I read along.
A bit later today I’ll be reading these excerpts in public … let’s see how that goes.