The Time Machine (1895) is H. G. Wellsâs first published novel as well as his most enduring and influential work.Intrigued by the possibilities of time travel as a student and inspired as a journalist by the great scientific advances of the Victorian Age, Wells drew on his own scientific publicationsâon evolution, degeneration, species extinction, geologic time, and biologyâin writing The Time Machine. This Norton Critical Edition is based on the first London edition of the novel. It is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations and âA Note on the Text.â
âBackgrounds and Contextsâ is organized thematically into four sections: âThe Evolution of The Time Machineâ presents alternative versions and installments and excerpts of the authorâs time-travel story; âWellsâs Scientific Journalism (1891â94)â focuses on the scientific topics central to the novel; âWells on The Time Machineâ reprints the prefaces to the 1924, 1931, and 1934 editions; and âScientific and Social Contextsâ collects five widely read texts by the Victorian scientists and social critics Edwin Ray Lankester, Thomas Henry Huxley, Benjamin Kidd, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), and Balfour Stewart and Peter Guthrie Tait.
âCriticismâ includes three important early reviews of The Time Machine from the Spectator, the Daily Chronicle, and Pall Mall Magazine as well as eight critical essays that reflect our changing emphases in reading and appreciating this futuristic novel. Contributors include Yevgeny Zamyatin, Bernard Bergonzi, Kathryn Hume, Elaine Showalter, John Huntington, Paul A. Cantor and Peter Hufnagel, Colin Manlove, and Roger Luckhurst.
A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
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