Having acquired a Shakespeare folio for a few shillings, anthropologist Daniel Wilson (1816-92) found in The Tempest a source of scientific intrigue. Writing more than two hundred years before Darwin propounded his theory of evolution, in his final play Shakespeare had created a missing link caught between the animal and the human. In this monograph, first published in 1873, Wilson uses the strange and unfortunate character of Caliban as a means through which to explore the principles of evolution. He traces many of the play's plot devices back to real events that perhaps inspired them - from storms in Bermuda to records of semi-human creatures around the world - and brings literary commentary into science as he links the relationships set out in the play to anthropological principles. This interdisciplinary approach makes the book both an entertaining exegesis of the play and a uniquely accessible explanation of contemporary scientific theories.