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
Poverty and the working classes, Visions of the future, Fin de siècle

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
Power and politics, Fin de siècle, 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.

Victorian utopias

Article by:
Marcus Waithe
Visions of the future

The nature of the ideal society has occupied philosophers and writers for millennia. Here Dr Marcus Waithe considers how Victorian writers such as H G Wells, William Morris and Edward Bulwer-Lytton re-imagined their own society and envisaged utopian futures.

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