The Time Machine

A scientific romance by H G Wells (1866-1946), published in 1895. Wells had part of a serial published in The Science Schools Journal in 1888. Subsequently ‘The Chronic Argonauts’ was redrafted, eventually resulting in his first major novel The Time Machine. The genre of ‘scientific romance’ - later termed science fiction - merges adventure with philosophical speculation. Writing in a society undergoing rapid, transformative industrialisation and urbanisation, Wells raises meaningful issues about class divisions and evolution. The Time Traveller sees life forms of the future: he encounters the timid Eloi, who are preyed upon by subterranean creatures, the degenerate Morlocks. He also witnesses the final bleak days of the human race. 

H G Wells
Victorian literature
Literary period:

Related articles

Class in The Time Machine

Article by:
Matthew Taunton
Fin de siècle, Poverty and the working classes, Visions of the future

Dr Matthew Taunton reveals how The Time Machine reflects H G Wells’s fascination with class division, the effects of capitalism and the evolution of the human race.

H G Wells’s politics

Article by:
Matthew Taunton
Fin de siècle, Power and politics, Visions of the future

H G Wells was a committed socialist whose political writing influenced, among other things, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dr Matthew Taunton considers how Wells engaged with socialist ideas in his journalism, social commentary and fiction.

An introduction to The War of the Worlds

Article by:
Iain Sinclair
London, Fin de siècle, Power and politics, Visions of the future

Writer Iain Sinclair discusses how H G Wells’s The War of the Worlds disturbed the public by combining journalistic sensationalism, scientific fantasy, suburban mundanity and fears of invasion.

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