Spotlight on… H.G. Wells and The Time Machine

“It’s against reason,” said Filby.
“What reason?” said the Time Traveller.”
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells,


H.G. Wells, born in England in 1866, was one of the first writers of science fiction. His stories had a great influence on our own vision of the future, especially his first novel, The Time Machine.

It is about a scientist called the Time Traveller, who builds a machine to travel into the future. He sees various civilisations in the future and finally, 30 million years later, he sees the destruction of the world itself. When he eventually arrives back home he sees that only 3 hours have passed since his original departure. The novel, first published in 1895, is the first to use the idea of a vehicle that can travel backwards and forwards in time.

H.G. Wells was also interested in class conflict in Victorian England. He used his science fiction writing to analyse social issues and predict how society would progress. The Time Traveller sees that in the future, humans have evolved and divided into two races: the Elois and the Morlocks representing the division between social classes. His suggestion is that man will eventually return to a simpler less evolved version of himself.

The Time Machine has inspired many films and books about travelling through time.

Illustration by ​Paolo D’Altan, taken from The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Reading and Training, Step 3 (B1.2)


Victoria Heward

Victoria writes original stories for Black Cat, taking her inspiration from the world of fantasy and magic!


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