Monday, 15 October 2012

HELLO The Classics Club - The Time Machine

This is the first volume, a classic collection of H.G. Wells, from which I have started The Classics Club read. My first of fifty on the list completed is The Time Machine (a re-read). You may wish to see this related post about the book that was included in my list for A Classics Challenge.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) was born Herbert George in Kent, England. He worked as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher before winning a scholarship to the Normal School of Science, under the tutelage of T.H. Huxley ('Darwin's Bulldog' - a mouthpiece for his theory of evolution).
H.G. WELLS IN 1890

 His love of books and writing stem from a childhood accident (1874), leaving him with a broken leg and bed-bound . He immersed himself in books brought to him by his father from the local library, and by which he was able to explore other worlds and lives. Later, he had access to the library of Uppark, a country house where his mother worked and the family were able to live. Here he read the classics: Plato's Republic and More's Utopia.

He took an interest in socialism through the Fabian Society and became a founder of The Science School Journal, where he brought up issues concerning literature and society. It was in this journal that the first version of The Time Machine was published under the title, The Chronic Argonauts. 

Along side Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback, H.G. Well was known as 'The Father of Science Fiction.'

The MC is known as The Time Traveller who travels in his machine into the future; a world inhabited by a contrasting race of beings. Above live the Eloi, a gentle and naive group who live amongst the ruins of the past and live on fruit. Below are the Morlocks ape-like beings who live in the dark amongst machinery that allows those above to thrive. He befriends an Eloi, Weena, and they go in search of his lost time machine. 

After travel yet further into the future, The Time Traveller return to relate his adventures to a disbelieving group of diners at his home, where the story begins.

I have read and enjoyed this book several times since I was given it as a child. One of the things I love about The Time Machine is the Victorian/sci-fi mix. We think of science fiction as as a modern idea, or something springing from the 'foo-fighters' spotted in World War ll and later UFO's, etc. Our classic writers were imaging the future including E.M. Forster who wrote a brilliant sc-fi short fiction: The Machine Stops.

This is a story about a time traveller, but it also has a message regarding society, religion, morality amongst other themes, stemming from Wells's interests socialism, eugenics and a world state. By time travelling, Wells is showing us how humans have evolved as race. And with a lot of science fiction, this one leaves you thinking 'what if?'


  1. I love the Time Machine!! I remember at school we had a choice - either read Time Machine or Journey to the Centre of the Earth and my friend and I chose Time Machine and the rest of the class chose Journey to... and thoroughly didn't like it (philistines!) but me and my friend had a great time discussing Time Machine and writing our report on it! We got an A!! This book is so the granddaddy of steampunk and then some! Respect! :-) Take care

  2. I have not read The Time Machine - it sounds like one I need to put on the to-be-read list! I enjoyed the history you shared about H.G. Wells. Great post, Debbie

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    There will be more reviews on H.G. Wells, for this challenge, as I read through my two volumes.

  4. This is on my list! I can't wait to read it, as I'm already a fan of his others. Thanks for the background info too! -Sarah

  5. Ah, I haven't read this. Seems all good books leave a reader with a What If--but especially sci-fi! Definitely "thinker" books.

  6. Thanks for commenting, Carol.