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ELT 37:2 1994 refused to admit that his lungs were infected. Two weeks before his death, he reassuringly maintained: Tm not in any sudden danger—but in slow danger." Only in his last days did he acknowledge: "such bad nights, and cough, and heart, and pain decidedly worse here—and miserable. . . . It's not a good place—can't stay long—I'm better in a house—I'm miserable." Finally, he cried out for morphia, experienced hallucinations and claimed to see his own body on a table across the room. His last words were: "I am better now"—and in a sense, he was. Just after his funeral Frieda told friends: "The courage, the courage with which he fought. I am so full of admiration that I can hardly feel much else___He has left me his love without a grudge, we had our grudges out; and from that other side, that I did not know before his death, he gives me his strength and his love for life." Jeffrey Meyers ------------------- Berkeley, California Wells's Doctor Moreau H. G. Wells. The Island of Doctor Moreau": A Variorum Text. Robert M. Philmus, ed. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993. xlviii + 239 pp. $40.00 THIS VOLUME is more on the order of an "Annotated 'Island of Dr. Moreau'" than the conventional scholarly edition that concentrates on textual issues. Much of the introduction is taken up with religious and scientific metaphors and parallels (e.g., Dr. Moreau = "God," or the principles of Darwinian Natural Selection), a discussion that while it helps the reader keep track of changes in the various manuscripts and versions of the tale, imparts the idea that Philmus's primary motive is to promote the theory-based side of science fiction, or perhaps just to reveal all the information he has about the novel's history, Wells's evolving views on vivisection and on "plasticity," and a range of influences on Wells (vide the twelve pages of 85 cross-referenced footnotes in this twenty-six-page introduction). Two appendices containing fairly detailed précis of "sequels" of Dr. Moreau written by other novelists, and of stage and screen adaptations of Wells's novel, commemorate the novel as a continuing polestar of cultural intersections, presumably as a strategy—unnecessary in my judgment—to justify treating in exhaustive detail the revisions made in a piece of mere "science fiction." This is a useful book for its placing the novel against its background of late-Victorian intellectual issues and condition of the biological sci220 BOOK REVIEWS enees, including theories of inter-species tissue-grafting and transplants ; but the primary domain of this review is the edition's employment of analytical and interpretive bibliography. It appears that Wells began the story previous to October 1894, finished a first draft by Christmas 1894, became discontented with major aspects of this version in early January, produced a new version, and then reworked this version for style until mid-1895. The novel was published in England by William Heinemann in April 1896, in America by Stone and Kimball in May 1896. Sometime before 1900 Wells wrote revisions in a copy of the 1896 Heinemann "Colonial Edition"; and many of these revisions were written (in the hand of someone other than Wells, perhaps Dorothy Richardson's [xxxiii]) into his copy of a 1913 (or 1916) reprint of the Heinemann edition which served as printer's copy for the newly reset "Atlantic Edition" (1924) published in London by T. Fisher Unwin and in New York by Scribner's. This sketches an essentially simple textual history. But one feels more comfortable with Philmus as a guide in the science fiction dimension than in the textual. There are many astute evaluative and comparative comments placing the novel within its genre; but he shows unfamiliarity with fundamental editing vocabulary ("copy-text" vs. printer's copy [xxxiii]) and theory (why accidentals in early printed texts are the more reliable test of closeness to the MS than substantives [xxxiv]). Rudimentary editorial issues are either elided altogether, resolved with odd reasoning, or made needlessly complex. As an example of the first: Philmus uses as his base text the 1896 Stone and Kimball text...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 220-224
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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