(1866 - 1946), English

10 Things You Didn’t Know About H.G. Wells

The book ‘The Time Machine’ is no doubt Herbert George Wells’s greatest literary achievement, and that is for many reasons. Part of it is for the reason that it was the first to squarely explore the concept of time travel, paving the way for future inquiry and creativity in the subgenre.

Another part is how Wells managed to unite the classic theories of evolution, the relativity concept, and social prophecies of his Victorian English society, thus unraveling new, uncharted grounds in scientific and political matters.

The popularity of Wells’ book ‘The Time Machine‘ makes it the more a subject tremendously researched on, but the unseen extras of this book are quite ample and very interesting for every reader to know. 

Two Men Followed Wells’s Work and Built a Real-life Time Machine

Rob Niosi and Physicist Ron Mallett followed Wells’s work from childhood, and later in their lives collaborated and built a time machine off of a Victorian barber chair. Their work is recorded in ‘How to Build a Time Machine,’ a 2016 documentary.

Wells First Coined and Used the Term ‘Time Machine’

H.G. Wells is known to have first combined both words and used them in his 1895 novel ‘The Time Machine‘, however, the base idea of a device that has the ability to drive through time was first used by Wells in his 1888 short story titled ‘The Chronic Argonauts.’ This framework for the later novel time machine introduced the story of an enigmatic doctor who builds himself an equally mentally draining contraption stationing it by his home against boarded-up windows. Soon the villagers’ suspicion grows and they decide to forcibly invade his privacy but he quickly disappears along with his friend, a local pastor, in his time machine.

The Time Traveller Has Different Names in Different Adaptation

Although Wells never truly gives out the real me of the time traveler as he always refers to him as either a scientist, a trickster, a craftsman, or a time traveler. But, this isn’t the case for other makeovers which came along through the years. In Stephen Baxter’s ‘The Time Ships‘ we see the time traveler bearing the name ‘Moses,’ and in another – George.

Simon Wells, H. G. Wells Great-grandson, Directed a Version of The Time Machine

One of Herbert George Wells’ great-grandson called Simon Wells directed one of the movie adaptations of Wells’s book ‘The Time Machine,’ released around 2002. With the press of the time promoting it with the tag ‘Joylessly Extravagant.’

The Time Machine has Several Comic Books Adaptations

The Time Machine comic book adaptation started in 1956 when Classics Illustrated published a version which they later followed sequel editions transcribed in more than five different countries and languages. Marvel followed suit in the late 70s, then Eternity Comics in the early 90s. 

H.G. Wells Accurately Predicted the Future in his Novel

Although Wells’ novel The Time Machine made a huge stride and came close, in another one of his books titled ‘Anticipation of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought,’ Wells happened to have accurately predicted the future and got a handful of things right. For example, Wells foretold the invention of the ‘airplane’ and that it would be deployed in warfares. He also gave a hint on the invention of ‘parachutes,’ one which he regarded as humanity’s ‘one last chance of life’ out of a plummeting mass of wreckage.

The Time Machine Shows Wells isn’t a Fan of Marx’s Capitalism

That is no surprise given that Wells was a socialist who believed in collective control and ownership of the means of production. Wells effectively used his book as a whiplash on capitalism and this is seen with the way the Eloi or upper class unhealthily interacts with the Morlocks or lower class. In all, Wells related this to the clearly similar Victorian English society of his time, with the warning that a time might come when the poor would become so frustrated that they would start preying on the rich. 

The Book Hints of Wells’s Obsession With Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species

Before Wells’s book ‘The Time Machine‘ was published, biological scientist Charles Darwin’s research journal ‘Origin of Species‘ was already making waves. Wells was a big fan of Darwin’s and also believed in his principles of evolution. Wells showed this by etching the idea into his later book The Time Machine.

A Chapter From The Time Machine Was Deleted By H.G. Wells

Wells was pressured by his editor to write a chapter where the time travel goes far into the future and kills the evolved version of the hostile creatures he met in the years 802,701. Wells did but later removed it because he was not satisfied with the progression of the story.

Stephen Hawking Believes a Real-life Time Machine in Possible

Acclaimed scientist Stephen Hawking thought the possibility of having a real-time machine is ‘not so crazy,’ but insisted that anything of that Calibre would only be realistically obtainable in space and not on earth.

About Israel Njoku
Israel has a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. He loves entertainment, pop-culture and the arts and tries to extract themes with wider reaching implications from them through rigorous analysis.
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