122 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2019
    1. Jewess

      GANGNES: Another instance of casual Anti-Semitic language, though the narrator does not seem to mean it disparagingly, and it is not nearly as offensive as "the Jew" clutching at gold in the narrator's brother's story. The word did not have to be changed (if, indeed, it would have been changed) for the volume because this entire section was cut.

    2. would fight no more for ever

      GANGNES: Note here that HUGHES AND GEDULD disagree with MCCONNELL's identification of the reference.

      From MCCONNELL 289-90: "A last, and very curious, invocation of the sub-theme of colonial warfare and exploitation. In 1877 Chief Joseph of the Nez Percé Indians had surrendered to the United States Army in a noble and widely-reported speech: 'I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. . . . Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more for ever.' Wells, by associating the tragic dignity of Chief Joseph's language with the now-defeated Martian invader, achieves a striking reversal of emotion. For we now understand that it is the Martians, pathetically overspecialized prisoners of their own technology, who are the truly pitiable, foredoomed losers of this war of the worlds, of ecologies, of relationships to Nature."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 224: MCCONNELL's comment is "farfetched. ... [T]he Nez Perce in Wells's day were unsung, and he would not deal in such an obscure allusion."

      More information:

    3. London veiled in her robes of smoke

      GANGNES: The "robes of smoke" here refers to the "London fog" (also known as "pea soup fog," "black fog," and "killer fog"). This greasy, yellowish fog that hung around London in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries was a byproduct of coal burning. It caused respiratory problems and other illnesses for London residents, especially factory workers. Here, then, Wells offers a vision of a London whose pollution has, perhaps paradoxically, been temporarily swept away by the Martians' own Black Smoke, which has brought London's industry to a standstill.

      More information:

    4. The further I penetrated into London

      GANGNES: In addition to the new chapter ("The Man on Putney Hill"), five paragraphs of text were added here in the 1898 volume as the beginning of a new chapter (Book II, Ch. VIII) called "Dead London." See text comparison page. The effect of these additions is that the narrator's experience wandering through an empty London is drawn out and given more narrative room to breathe; in the Pearson's version the narrator encounters the dying Martians much more quickly after his arrival in London.

    5. Somehow I felt that this was not the end.

      GANGNES: This line and "That, at any rate, would be completion." (below) were cut from the 1898 volume. Perhaps Wells decided that less of the narrator's internal commentary on his feelings would be more effective. See text comparison page.

    6. Ulla, ulla, ulla, ulla

      From STOVER 237: "The 'ulla, ulla' of the last of [the Martians] echoes the Irish Gol, or Ullaloo, a lamentation over the dead. It has classical references in Virgil (Magnoque ululante tumulta) and in Ovid (Ululatibus omne / Implevere nemus), as in the title of E.A. Poe's Ballad 'Ulalume'."

    7. lying in state, and in its black shroud

      GANGNES: To "lie in state" is "the tradition in which the body of a dead official is placed in a state building, either outside or inside a coffin, to allow the public to pay their respects" (Wikipedia). The "black shroud" here refers metaphorically to a burial shroud or a shroud worn by mourners. Here, then, Wells compares the entire city of London and its inhabitants as corpses, and the black smoke (and resulting black dust) as its burial covering.

    8. black. Night

      GANGNES: In the 1898 volume, the following line is added between these two sentences: "All about me the red weed clambered among the ruins, writing to get above me in the dimness." The addition perhaps adds a sense of being lost in an alien landscape rather than a familiar city; the Martians and their flora have not just destroyed London; they have taken over it. See text comparison page.

    9. The windows in the white houses were like the eye-sockets of skulls.

      GANGNES: In his illustrations for the 1906 limited-edition Belgian volume, Henrique Alvim Corrêa sometimes takes a fantastical/magic-realist approach to his depictions, literalizing metaphors and making the mundane strange. In this case, Corrêa literally draws the narrator's conception of London's buildings resembling skulls:

    10. put upon this earth. Here and there they were scattered

      GANGNES: In the 1898 volume, a large paragraph is added between these two:

      "For so it had come about, as indeed I and many men might have foreseen had not terror and disaster blinded our minds. These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things—taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many—those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance—our living frames are altogether immune. But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow. Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was inevitable. By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain."

      In the serialized text, a similar rumination on microorganisms and their role in the Martian's destruction is positioned, though not phrased the same way, closer to the end of the installment's epilogue. Changing the order of these mental asides by the narrator alters the pacing and reveals background information at different points in the narrative.

      See text comparison page.

    11. below me. Then at the sound

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume inserts a new sentence between these two: "Across the pit on its farther lip, flat and vast and strange, lay the great flying machine with which they had been experimenting upon our denser atmosphere when decay and death arrested them. Death had come not a day too soon." See text comparison page. This revelation raises the stakes in the volume; the serial mentions the Martians' flying machines but does not emphasize the danger posed by them, but the volume stresses that the Martians were improving their flying technology so that they could travel farther across Britain and beyond.

    12. XXII.―THE EPILOGUE.

      GANGNES: The Epilogue was completely overhauled for the 1898 volume. Firstly, it was split into two parts: Book II, Ch. IX ("Wreckage") and Book II, Ch. X ("Epilogue"). The first five paragraphs of the serial's Epilogue were cut, and eight new paragraphs were written for the beginning of Book II, Ch. IX, the rest of which came from the serial's Epilogue. A few other paragraphs from the serial were cut for the new Epilogue (see below notes).

      This rearrangement and supplementation of text has been simplified and/or glossed over in other scholars' accounts of revisions between the Pearson's version and the 1898 volume of the novel. When mentioned at all, it is often said that for the volume, Wells added "The Man on Putney Hill" and a "new Epilogue." Comparison of the text reveals that the reality of the revision was far more complicated, with a fair amount of text preserved from the serial to create the reworked Epilogue. Engaging with these nuanced changes offers insights into not only the editorial process of collecting serialized works for volume publication, but also the degree to which rearranging, tweaking, and supplementing text can affect pacing, characterization, and "message" at the end of a novel.

      See text comparison page.

    13. Such narratives we must have first in abundance, and afterwards the history may be written.

      GANGNES: The narrator here is commenting on the process of historical documentation: historians must gather personal narratives (like his and his brother's) together and synthesize them into "official" records of history. The narrator simultaneously downplays the importance of his account and asserts its role in the creation of historical records.

    14. It speaks eloquently for the lesson that humanity had learned that no attack was made on our stricken Empire during the months of reconstruction

      GANGNES: Which is to say, in spite of the weakened state of Britain during the Martian invasion and the rebuilding period, no other country took advantage of this weakness and attacked Britain or its colonies. The narrator takes heart about the human spirit from this, despite the fact that in the same paragraph he mentions cannibalism, and we must remember what he, himself, did to the curate.

    15. kindly insipidity

      GANGNES: In this case insipidity would be defined as "want of taste or judgement; weakness, folly" (Oxford English Dictionary). The narrator is not altogether pleased with the French operator's comments; France cheers on England's "triumph" over the Martians, after having offered no aid during the crisis. Essentially, his "tousand congratulation' are in poor taste considering the circumstances.

    16. went up the stairs. I went

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume inserts the following paragraph between these two:

      "I followed them to my study, and found lying on my writing-table still, with the selenite paper weight upon it, the sheet of work I had left on the afternoon of the opening of the cylinder. For a space I stood reading over my abandoned arguments. It was a paper on the probable development of Moral Ideas with the development of the civilising process; and the last sentence was the opening of a prophecy: 'In about two hundred years,' I had written, 'we may expect——' The sentence ended abruptly. I remembered my inability to fix my mind that morning, scarcely a month gone by, and how I had broken off to get my Daily Chronicle from the newsboy. I remembered how I went down to the garden gate as he came along, and how I had listened to his odd story of 'Men from Mars.'"

      Through this revision, Wells reminds the reader that the narrator is a philosophical writer. There is an irony here: in his paper, the narrator speculates on moral development two centuries after what ends up being the arrival of the Martians. Speculating about far-future morality is proven folly in the face of an unforeseen present crisis that leaves human beings struggling to live at all, let alone live according to a certain moral code. There is also an implicit irony to the fact that the Martians are at least two centuries ahead of human beings technologically, and they have their own "moral" codes far different to what the narrator might have expected.

      See text comparison page.

    17. I dashed out and caught her in my arms.

      GANGNES: STOVER (248) incorrectly comments on this line as if it were the ending of the serialized version of the text:

      "All critics think this is a weak ending, and ending it was in the serial version of 1897. The Epilogue is new to the book but it, too, strikes the very same note."

      This is likely due to some confusion over the fact that an Epilogue was "new to the book"; Wells wrote a new Epilogue for the 1898 volume, for which he retained and rearranged portions of the serialized text, including this scene with the narrator's cousin and wife.

      The asterisk inserted here indicates a "hard break" (paragraph break of several lines) in the serialized text, but it is not, as Stover calls it, the novel's ending. Rather, it is simply a pause at the conclusion of the narrator's journey before he reflects on his telling of it, and the outcome and aftereffects of the Martian invasion.

    18. three lines in the green

      From MCCONNELL 297: "A contradiction. In Book I, Chapter Fifteen, the black smoke is said to produce unusual lines in the blue of the spectrum."

      GANGNES: This contradiction appears in the volume because of an added passage in Chapter XV. See note in Installment 6.

    19. possible that it combines with argon

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 225: "This contradicts the earlier statement that the Black Smoke contained 'an unknown element giving a group of four lines in the blue spectrum'. ... Actually, argon, as an inert gas, cannot combine with another element to form a compound."

      GANGNES: The "blue spectrum" line is not in the serial. See Installment 6 note. HUGHES AND GEDULD (225) speculate that this kind of "carelessness in this final chapter probably reflects Wells's changing intentions regarding its publication." These "changing intentions" had much to do with Heinemann's insistence on the book being longer (HUGHES AND GEDULD 5-6).

    20. It has often been asked

      GANGNES: The following two paragraphs were cut from the 1898 volume. They are substituted in a different part of the ending with a shorter comment about the Martians' flying machines inserted farther up. See note above and text comparison page. In the revision process, the flying machines become a point of frightening calamity avoided rather than a scientific discussion.

    21. Knowledge

      GANGNES: Knowledge: An Illustrated Magazine of Science, Plainly Worded -- Exactly Described (1881-1918) was founded as a weekly periodical with three-column pages by astronomer Richard Anthony Proctor in an effort to make scientific research more accessible. Advertisements allowed Knowledge to undercut the sales of Nature (see next note and Installment 1). It became a monthly periodical in 1885 and, under the editorship of Arthur Cowper, began to introduce reproductions of astronomical photographs, which allowed for the popular distribution of pictures of the stars. This structure of Knowledge at the time when Wells was writing The War of the Worlds is consistent with the idea that the journal might have published photographs of Mars and Venus.

      Source:

    1. the swift tragedy that had burst upon the world had deranged his mind

      GANGNES: The narrator believes the curate to be suffering from what we would now call Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Victorians might have referred to this condition as "male hysteria" in the curate's case; soon it would be called "Shell Shock" due to the PTSD experienced by soldiers during the First World War.

    2. So it came about that I and the curate were imprisoned out of the sight of, and yet within sound of, the Martians, and by creeping up to the triangular hole in the broken wall, we could even lie (and to that our courage attained on the second day) peeping through a narrow crack between two masses of plaster at them.

      GANGNES: The first six paragraphs of Chapter XIX were cut from the text when it was collected as a volume, and replaced with a similar amount of text at the beginning of what became Book II, Chapter II of the 1898 volume. See text comparison page.

      The replacement of this section relates to Wells's reorganization of the narrative toward the end of the novel. Certain devices, such as the foreshadowing of sentences like "The dreadful thing that happened at last between myself and the curate, and how in the end I escaped from that house, I will defer from telling in this chapter," are not as necessary in a volume; in fact, they can disrupt narrative flow. Foreshadowing helps keep a serial reader interested in an installment of a story and interested in buying the next one when it comes out.

    3. The bare idea of this is no doubt horribly repulsive to us, but at the same time I think that we should remember how repulsive our carnivorous habits would seem to an intelligent rabbit.

      GANGNES: The text beginning with "I know it is..." and ending with "But I wander from my subject" several paragraphs later was cut from the 1898 volume. See text comparison page.

      STOVER argues, "The reason Wells cut this passage from the book version is probably aesthetic. He did not wish to give away to much, if he were to keep with the novel's deepest artistic ambiguity" (188). However, this assessment risks oversimplifying an extensive edit. Apart from "giving away too much"--offering a lot of information that the narrator would not find out until much later and therefore informing the reader of details about the Martians relatively early--this passage can come off as "preachy" or overly philosophical in a way Wells may have later decided he disliked.

      This omitted section tells us a great deal not only about the Martians' grisly study of a live human subject, but also about the narrator's ideologies. Looking back on his first glimpses of the Martians from a later time of safety, the narrator offers a kind of persuasive philosophical essay (he is, by trade, a professional writer of similar essays) on the ethical and moral lessons to be gleaned, from the Martians' behavior, about humans' treatment of other animals.

      While the passage may "wander from [the narrator's] subject," it offers an intriguing dissonance between the narrator's terror of being killed by the Martians--to the point where he sacrifices others' lives--and his cool, high-minded defense of their consumption of human beings.

      In the end, Wells retains only the first sentence of this passage in the volume to speak very briefly to the narrator's philosophical thoughts on the matter. What we gain in narrative flow and "artistic ambiguity," we may lose in characterization.

    4. tenth Cylinder

      From STOVER 188: re cutting this section, "Wells may have considered the fact that the narrator's reference to a 'tenth cylinder' is three too many. On the other hand, his miscounting of the seven actual landings would be consistent with his unreliability on so many other points."

    5. would have crushed them

      GANGNES: The following sentence is added here to the 1898 volume: "And while I am engaged in this description, I may add in this place certain further details which, although they were not all evident to us at the time, will enable the reader who is unacquainted with them to form a clearer picture of these offensive creatures." Wells makes a clearer distinction in the collected volume between his narrator's thoughts and feelings during the time of the narrative, and those during the writing of the narrative. See text comparison page.

    6. In three other points the Martian physiology differs from ours.

      GANGNES: There are many small changes made to the descriptions of the Martians for the collected volume (see text comparison page). A seemingly nitpicky one is that every instance of a present-tense state of being (e.g., "differs," "do," "have," etc.) is past-tense in the volume. This is perhaps not a material difference, but it does affect the reader's understanding of whether the Martians might still be around at the end of the narrative, and/or if human beings can no longer consider Martians to be a thing of the past even if they defeat them; the Martians still exist on other planets.

    7. sex

      GANGNES: In this case, the word refers to an organism's sex based on chromosomes (which most Victorians would conflate with gender). The "budding off" makes it clear that Martians do not have sexual intercourse, so any differences in chromosomes (if any) are inconsequential. The Martians have achieved a kind of asexual utopia, where their energies and emotions are not "wasted" on finding a mate. Human beings with our base instincts and inefficient digestive systems don't stand a chance against advanced beings who quickly process sustenance, never sleep, and don't have to bother with courtship and breeding.

    8. But of that I will write more at length later.

      GANGNES: This line is replaced in the 1898 volume with "A hundred diseases, all the fevers and contagions of human life, consumption, cancers, tumours and such morbidities, never enter the scheme of their life." This constitutes a subtle foreshadowing about the ultimate fate of the Martians and is perhaps a bit more elegantly constructed than the serial's sentence.

    9. a stream of water.

      GANGNES: A new paragraph is added here for the 1898 volume. See text comparison page. This paragraph constitutes one of the most significant revisions to the novel in terms of the text's relationship with Pearson's and illustration. The new paragraph covertly criticizes Warwick Goble's illustrations of the novel:

      "I recall particularly the illustration of one of the first pamphlets to give a consecutive account of the war. The artist had evidently made a hasty study of one of the Fighting Machines, and there his knowledge ended. He presented them as tilted, stiff tripods, without either flexibility or subtlety, and with an altogether misleading monotony of effect. The pamphlet containing these renderings had a considerable vogue, and I mention them here simply to warn the reader against the impression they may have created. They were no more like the Martians I saw in action than a Dutch doll is like a human being. To my mind, the pamphlet would have been much better without them."

      Wells's friend English writer Arnold Bennett noticed the new passage and wrote to Wells: “I gathered … that you were not exactly enchanted with Warwick Goble’s efforts.” Wells admitted the intentional critique: Goble “made people think my tale was a wearisome repetition of kettles on camera stands. I really don’t think he put a fair quantity of brain into that enterprise or I wouldn’t have slanged him in the book.”

      References:

    10. evolution

      GANGNES: In this case, not just the "natural" process that we commonly associate with Charles Darwin's capital-E Evolution, but rather, a biological evolution progressing alongside technological innovation. Martians' technologies are far more evolved than humans', but their tools and technologies are as well.

    11. wearing different bodies according to their need

      GANGNES: The Fighting Machines, Handling Machines, and so forth, serve as body augmentations for the Martians, in a way. Their physiology as mostly brains with dexterous tentacles for digits makes them ideally suited to operate in this way.

    12. There was the gigantic marching, fighting body of metal, carrying the generator of the Heat Ray, which I have already described.

      GANGNES: The text from this point through the end of the chapter was cut from the 1898 volume and replaced by a more objective rumination on the differences between human and Martian technology--including the absence of the wheel in Martian machines--and more observations about the specifics of Martian anatomy and abilities. Instead of ending on the Martians' killing of a young boy for food, the chapter concludes with the curate drawing the narrator's attention back to him. See text comparison page.

    13. Handling Machine

      From STOVER 199: "The 'Handling Machines' are robots, which here make them their first appearance in science fiction."

      GANGNES: Illustrations of the Martians' technology have strongly favored the iconic tripod fighting machines, with almost no depictions of the handling machines. A notable exception is the below image by Brazilian artist Henrique Alvim Corrêa, who created it as part of a series of illustrations for a limited-edition Belgian volume (1906):

    14. . . . . .

      GANGNES: Here, Wells leaves us to imagine what death-by-Martian would look like. All we know is that the narrator does not seem to think that Martians are cruel, and that they inject themselves with blood from living victims in order to survive.

    15. XX.—THE DEATH OF THE CURATE.

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume is revised and reorganized here in such a way that there is another chapter--"The Days of Imprisonment"--before "The Death of the Curate." Between the first two paragraphs of this chapter in the serial and the third one ("After the eighth day..."), there is a massive amount of text added and shifted around to restructure the narrator's account of the time he and the curate spent in the ruined house before the curate died. These changes alter the pacing significantly. See text comparison page.

    16. Then I rushed to the door in the scullery.

      GANGNES: The Martian tentacle's search for the narrator was revised and expanded somewhat for the 1898 volume. The changes slow the pacing down and increase tension. See text comparison page.

    17. Apparently the Martian had taken it all on the previous day.

      GANGNES: This is a truly terrifying moment if we remember that the Martians do not digest food. They did not take the supplies in the pantry because they wanted them; they took the supplies because they suspected that a human being was in the house, and by taking the provisions they can starve him out.

    18. On the thirteenth day

      GANGNES: This paragraph was revised and expanded somewhat to include evidence of remorse from the narrator over his role in the curate's death (see text comparison page):

      "During these days, in a rambling, inconclusive way, I thought much of the curate and of the manner of his death.

      On the thirteenth day I drank some more water, and dozed and thought disjointedly of eating and of vague impossible plans of escape. Whenever I dozed I dreamt of horrible phantasms, of the death of the curate, or of sumptuous dinners; but, asleep or awake, I felt a keen pain that urged me to drink again and again. The light that came into the scullery was no longer grey, but red. To my disordered imagination it seemed the colour of blood."

      We get no such indication that the narrator regrets sacrificing the curate's life to save his own in the serial.

    19. cankering

      From MCCONNELL 265: "Rotting from within. This is an instance of 'foreshadowing' in the classic tradition of the Victorian novel. The death of the red Martian weed is our first hint that the invasion of the Martians themselves may be doomed to failure through the same 'natural' processes."

    20. But this is an anticipation.

      GANGNES: This line was cut from the 1898 volume. It is the kind of text marker designed to keep serial audiences engaged in the narrative and clamoring to buy the next installment, but in a volume it may come off as unnecessary foreshadowing that distracts from the flow of the narrative. Wells has substituted another form of foreshadowing that is simultaneously subtler and more detailed. The following sentence was added just before this point (between "upon it." and "The fronds"): "Now by the action of natural selection, all terrestrial plants have acquired a resisting power against bacterial diseases—they never succumb without a severe struggle, but the red weed rotted like a thing already dead." See text comparison page.

    21. came out on Putney Common. Here

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume adds a few sentences here wherein the narrator again comments on the landscape through which he is traveling alone (see text comparison page):

      "Here the scenery changed from the strange and unfamiliar to the wreckage of the familiar: patches of ground exhibited the devastation of a cyclone, and in a few score yards I would come upon perfectly undisturbed spaces, houses with their blinds trimly drawn and doors closed, as if they had been left for a day by the owners, or as if their inhabitants slept within. The red weed was less abundant; the tall trees along the lane were free from the red creeper."

      The addition enhances the desolate mood of the narrator's journey and contributes to the visual writing style for which Wells is so often lauded.

    1. To a balloonist

      GANGNES: From this point to the end of the paragraph was cut for the 1898 edition. As the notes on Installment 6 indicate, a significant portion of the end of Installment 6 was moved to the next chapter, changing the flow and creation of suspense as the narrative moves toward what would become the split between Books I and II. See text comparison page.

    2. no properly organised news distribution

      GANGNES: This is another instance of the unreliability of the press during a time of crisis, especially when the government is in disarray. There is a tension throughout the novel of the citizens' hunger for official news--to the point where they will pay exorbitant prices for a newspaper--and the uselessness of the scraps of information they receive.

    3. On Monday night came the sixth star, and it fell at Wimbledon.

      GANGNES: Due to the shifting around of the narrative, this sentence is changed in the 1898 edition to: "Of the falling of the fifth cylinder I have presently to tell. The sixth star fell at Wimbledon." See text comparison page. HUGHES AND GEDULD (215) assert that this is "a slip"; the sixth and seventh cylinders "must fall on Tuesday and Wednesday nights." See below note on "Fifth Cylinder" that complicates matters further.

    4. camera-like generator

      GANGNES: Again we see a comparison of Martian technology (especially the Heat Ray) to cameras and photography.

    5. Even in writing fiction I expect—since it is the commonest failure—it is hard to make each circumstance flow from its predecessors in a natural fashion, and to do so with the huge history I am sketching is certainly quite beyond my ability.

      GANGNES: This section is part of a major cut to the chapter that occurred when the novel was split into two parts (as discussed above). In the serialized version of the text, the novel's narrator spends much more time reflecting on his own feelings and responses, as well as the storytelling process, than in the volume. Here Wells makes explicitly clear the narrator's unreliability (which is implicit in other parts of the text). Moreover, there is a strange critique of "romanticized" fiction that sets fiction up against this narrator's journalistic account of the invasion (which, of course, is fiction as well). The narrator's appeals to authority here may come off as prematurely defensive and disruptive of the narrative flow. It seems that Wells ultimately decided they would not be a strong start to Book II of the volume. See text comparison page.

    6. it seemed quite deserted save for a prowling muzzled dog or so

      GANGNES: This section was significantly revised for the 1898 version. Most notably, in the Pearson's version Twickenham is deserted, whereas in the 1898 version the narrator and curate cross paths with several other people who are fleeing, and there is more damage in the town. This creates quite a different effect: the serial evokes the haunting quality of a ghost town; the volume expresses an environment of urgency and destruction. See text comparison page.

    7. The fifth cylinder, the fifth shot from Mars

      GANGNES: See notes below from MCCONNELL and HUGHES AND GEDULD about a possible inconsistency or oversight in the order of the cylinder landings. This makes mapping them even more complicated.

    8. Fifth Cylinder

      GANGNES: MCCONNELL 240 identifies this as a "contradiction. The fourth start had fallen late Sunday night, north of where the narrator and the curate are hiding..., and the narrator only hears of it later, from his brother. So it is impossible for him to know, at the time, that this i the fifth star; he should think it is the fourth." A case could be made, however, that the narrator is writing this in retrospect, and therefore could be imposing his later knowledge of which cylinder it is onto his impressions at the time.

      HUGHES AND GEDULD further complicate the matter by responding to MCCONNELL: "But the first three cylinders fell one after the other late on the nights of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Doubtless the narrator simply assumes that the fourth fell 'late Sunday night' and that this one (late Monday night) is the fifth. ... The real trouble is that--far from being unaware of the fourth cylinder--the narrator should be only too well acquainted with it. It fell the previous night, into Bushey Park, which he and the curate have just traversed. But Wells has forgetfully caused the park to contain nothing more remarkable than 'the deer going to and fro under the chestnuts.'"

    1. Street Chobham

      GANGNES: Should be "Street Cobham." This is an error that was likely made in the typesetting process for Pearson's, as it does not appear in other versions. The mix-up is understandable, especially as the narrator has spoken so often of Chobham and Chobham Road.

      HUGHES AND GEDULD (119) point out that Street Chobham (with an H) is "well west of the Martians' line of march."

    2. So he got out of the fury of the panic

      GANGNES: The text was significantly revised for the 1898 volume from this point through "...in time to save them"; Wells seems to have spent a great deal of effort grappling with how to describe the havoc and conflict of the flight from London. See text comparison page.

  2. Apr 2019
    1. “That sound,”

      GANGNES: The next two paragraphs are cut from the 1898 volume, with smaller sentences and fragments added and cut through the end of page 355. Again Wells takes great care over the flow of this scene. See text comparison page.

    2. As they passed the bend in the lane

      GANGNES: From this point through the end of the installment, very significant changes were made between the serialized version and the 1898 volume. Apart from a large cut (see below), the final four large paragraphs were moved to the beginning of the next chapter (XVII). This difference changes the narrative's pacing and moments of suspense. See text comparison page.

    3. So my brother describes one striking phase of the great flight out of London on the morning of Monday. So vividly did that scene at the corner of the lane impress him, so vividly did he describe it, that I can now see the details of it almost as distinctly as if I had been present at the time. I wish I had the skill to give the reader the effect of his description. And that was just one drop of the flow of the panic taken and magnified.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume; perhaps it was thought to be redundant, especially with the change in chapter division. See note above and text comparison page.

    4. Just after midnight the fifth cylinder fell, green and livid, crushing a house, as I shall presently tell in fuller detail, beside the road between Richmond and Barnes. The fifth cylinder—and there were five more yet to come!

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 version. Likely the extent to which the break between chapters XVI and XVII changed the flow of the narrative made this installment ending redundant. It works very effectively in the serial as a suspense-building hint at the next part of the narrative, but is perhaps not necessary in a collected volume. See text comparison page.

    1. still wet newspapers

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 213: "This is a slip. Until about 1870, paper was dampened to ensure a good printing impression and was then dried, but by the 1890s dry paper was used.... The anachronism disappears in the Heinemann edition (p. 127), which reads: 'type, so fresh that the paper was still wet.'"

      GANGNES: It is unclear what HUGHES AND GEDULD mean when they write that the "anachronism disappears in the Heinemann edition"; the Heinemann edition also includes this line on page 124.

    2. hastily fastening maps of Surrey to the glass

      GANGNES: The shopkeeper is displaying maps of Surrey in his store window because that is the region in which the Martian invasion is taking place (Woking and its surrounding villages are in Surrey). He likely hopes that advertising the map in his window will prompt customers to buy maps of Surrey from him so they can follow the action.

    3. part of Marylebone, and in the Westbourne Park district and St. Pancras, and westward and northward in Kilburn and St. John’s Wood and Hampstead, and eastward in Shoreditch and Highbury and Haggerston and Hoxton, and indeed through all the vastness of London from Ealing to East Ham

      GANGNES: As is evident by this point, the entirety of The War of the Worlds is specifically situated in actual locations in and around London. This rapid-fire naming of specific streets and neighborhoods can be overwhelming to readers who are not familiar with London, but to those who are (as many of Wells's readers would be), they underscore that this crisis is happening in a very real location. It also gives the narrative a breathless sense of momentum while maintaining the specificity of war reporting.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 235: Westbourne Park is "a district in the London borough of Kensington, about two and a half miles from the city center."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: St. Pancras is "a London borough north of the Thames, two miles form the city center. It is the site of Euston and St. Pancras [train] stations, main transit points for northern England and Scotland."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: Kilburn is "a northwest London district between Hampstead (on the north) and Paddington (on the south), about three and a half miles northwest of central London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: St. John's Wood is "a middle-to-upper-class residential district northwest of Regent's Park, in north London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: Hampstead is "a hilly northeast London suburb, about five miles from the city center. From its highest point, on Hampstead Heath, it offers a magnificent vista of London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: Shoreditch is "a working-class district in east London, about a mile from the city center."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: Haggerston is "a tough, working-class district in North London, north of Bethnal Green and east of Shoreditch."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: Hoxton is "a tough, working-class district in north London, between Shoreditch and Haggerston, about two miles northeast of Charing Cross in central London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: Ealing is "a London borough in the county of Middlesex, some eight miles west of the city center."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: East Ham is a "London district int eh county of Essex, about seven miles east of the city center."

    4. poisonous vapour

      From DANAHAY 107: "Wells's vision of the use of poison gas, which was used as a weapon for the first time in World War I."

      GANGNES: Some illustrations of The War of the Worlds created during and soon after the First World War distinguish themselves by focusing on the black smoke instead of the heat ray. One such illustration is the book cover for a Danish edition published in 1941. Considered in the light of weapons used during the First and Second World Wars, images such as this one become particularly haunting.

    5. They communicated with each other by means of siren-like howls, running up and down the scale from one note to another.

      From STOVER 145: Another evocation of the Prussian military model; their communications were superior to those of the French in the Franco-Prussian War.

    6. earthly artillery

      GANGNES: HUGHES AND GEDULD (213) observe that this is likely a reference to Satan's "infernal artillery" in Milton's Paradise Lost, rather than a "celestial artillery" (STOVER 148 uses this term as well) as an inverse of "earthly artillery." In the context of a Martian invasion, however, "celestial" in opposition to "infernal" becomes complicated; in a narrative like Milton's, it would refer to Heaven, whereas in the context of Wells, it would be "the heavens," i.e., space. The Martians are far from benevolent angels; they are, perhaps, "avenging angels," or akin to infernal beings, despite being from a neighboring planet. In the context of this novel, might we imagine a new kind of artillery: an "alien artillery"?

    7. (To be continued next month.)

      GANGNES: In the serialized version of the novel, Chapter V was divided in half between installments 5 and 6. This imposed a kind of "false cliffhanger" that was often seen in Victorian serialized fiction because periodicals had a set number of pages per issue (sometimes with a little wiggle room) to devote to an installment of a serialized work.

      This "false cliffhanger" would have affected a Victorian reader's sense of pacing and the feeling of suspense caused by the abrupt end of the installment in the middle of an intense battle. This a "to be continued" moment that was created by serialization rather than an author's intended pacing.

    1. “It’s bows and arrows against the lightning, anyhow,”

      STOVER: "It is the inequality of combat, magnified, between French and German forces in the Franco-Prussian War."

      GANGNES: In addition to STOVER's note, consider the larger scope of nineteenth-century European imperialism; the 1890s were a time when the British empire was nearing its decline, and The War of the Worlds was one of many well-known novels written at the end of the century that addressed imperialism. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (serialized in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in 1899 before being collected) tells of a real-life imperial experience, but Bram Stoker's Dracula, which was, like The War of the Worlds, published in 1897, is a very different kind of novel that nonetheless explores the idea of Britain being invaded by a superior entity in the way the British invaded colonial lands.

      Numerous Wells scholars have written on the "reverse colonization" and "Empire comes home" nature of The War of the Worlds. As Robert Silverberg writes, "[Humans] simply don’t matter at all [to the Martians], any more than the natives of the Congo or Mexico or the Spice Islands mattered to the European invaders who descended upon them to take their lands and their treasures from them during the great age of colonialism.” Likewise, Robert Crossley observes, "The Martians do to England what the Victorians had done to Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific--and Wells intended that his fellow English imperialists taste a dose of their own medicine.”

      Sources:

      More information:

    2. The decapitated colossus

      GANGNES: The scene beginning at this point and running through the end of the chapter was significantly revised with dozens of small rewordings. In addition to deemphasizing some of the narrator's personal emotions, as Wells does in other parts of the novel, these changes show Wells grappling with exactly how to describe the appearance and movement of the Martian fighting machines and the nigh-cinematic scene of destruction that makes this novel highly suited to visual adaptation. See text comparison page.

    3. When I realised that the Martians had passed I struggled to my feet, giddy and smarting from the scalding I received, and for a space I stood sick and helpless between the drifting steam and the suffocating, burning, and smouldering behind. Presently, through a gap in the thinning steam,

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 version. This is another instance of removing the narrator's commentary on his own feelings and reactions, especially those that seem weak or cowardly. See text comparison page.

    4. I do not clearly remember the arrival of the curate

      GANGNES: From this point through the end of the installment is one of the most heavily reworked scenes in the novel. There are significant cuts, additions, rearrangings, and rephrasings. The revisions alter the curate's mood and the narrator's emotional and intellectual responses to the curate's outburst. Through these edits, Wells seems to be grappling with how to most effectively present a critique of religion. See text comparison page.

    5. The smoke of her burning goeth up for ever and ever

      GANGNES: With his mind still on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, MCCONNELL identifies this quote as referencing Genesis as well. STOVER and DANAHAY both identify the reference as coming from Revelation, but disagree on which passage. An examination of each passage would suggest that Stover is correct, though DANAHAY's passage also describes destruction.

      From MCCONNELL 188: "A slightly inaccurate quotation from Genesis 18:28."

      From STOVER 130: reference to Revelation 19:3: "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever." ("her" = the harlot of Babylon, Rome)

      From DANAHAY 96: "Revelations[sic] 6:16-17 describes the end of the world in these terms."

    1. that a dispute had arisen at the Horse Guards

      GANGNES: STOVER corrects HUGHES AND GEDULD's annotation, though does not mention them specifically in the note, despite referencing them in other notes.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 206: "Their notion is that there was an operational or tactical dispute--about how to deal with the situation--among the officers of the elite Horse Guards at the Horse Guard barracks (a building in central London opposite Whitehall). The Horse Guards are the cavalry brigade of the English Household troops (the third regiment of Horse Guards is known as the Royal Horse Guards)."

      From STOVER 94: Horse Guards here "is a shorthand reference to the British War Office, located on Horse Guards Parade near Downing Street in London. As Americans refer to the Department of Defense as 'The Pentagon' after its office building, so the British called its War Office 'the Horse Guards.' Not to be confused with the Household Calvary regiment The Royal Horse Guards, even then a tourist attraction when on parade."

    2. They

      GANGNES: In the 1898 edition, this sentence (slightly edited) is preceded by, "It hardly seemed a fair fight to me at the time." In the revised version we are offered this bit of foreshadowing and characterization without a strong emotional component. See text comparison page.

    3. As soon as my astonishment would let me

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. Another removal of the narrator's emotions. See text comparison page.

    4. her cousins

      From MCCONNELL158: "An apparent slip. Everywhere else these cousins are the narrator's cousins, not his wife's."

    5. I’m selling my bit of a pig.

      GANGNES: HUGHES AND GEDULD and STOVER both disagree with MCCONNELL about the meaning of this phrase.

      From MCCONNELL 159: "The landlord fears he may be selling (not buying) a 'pig in a poke.'"

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 207: "One nineteenth-century slang meaning of 'pig' was goods or property. Hence the sentence might simply men: 'I'm selling my bit of property.' Another slang meaning of 'pig' was nag, donkey, or moke; while 'bit of' was an adjectival term that could be used variously to express affection for the subject it preceded. ... Another possibility is a real pig, i.e., the landlord is surprised--after asking a pig buyer to pay a pound and drive the pig home himself--to be offered two pounds with a promise moreover to return the pig. According to this, people are simply talking at cross-purposes, and the narrator then explains that he wants a dogcart, not a pig."

      From STOVER 98: "The landlord is puzzled by the narrator's haste to pay two pounds for his 'bit of pig' (=his valuable piece of property) coupled with a strong promise to return it."

    6. But that strange sight of the swift confusion and destruction of war, the first real glimpse of warfare that had ever come into my life, was photographed in an instant upon my memory.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. Another removal of the narrator's emotional responses to the invasion. The "loss" here is part of the novel's discussion of photography and photographic war journalism specifically. The chapter ends (after "that quivering tumult") with an additional sentence: "I overtook and passed the doctor between Woking and Send." See text comparison page.

    7. I wanted to be in at the death.

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume adds "I can best express my state of mind by saying that" to the beginning of this sentence. The change softens the impact of the narrator's emotions by adding an analytical "stepping back" from his feelings at the time. See text comparison page.

    8. And this Thing! How can I describe it?

      GANGNES: This passage through the next page is the most striking and detailed description of the Martian fighting machines in the novel. Despite the degree of detail offered by the narrator, the machines' physical appearance has been depicted quite differently across various illustrations. Wells made his dislike of Goble's illustrations clear in a passage he added to what would become Book II, Chapter II of the 1898 volume. See Installment 8. He also cut and changed some phrasing to deemphasize comparisons to human technologies. See text comparison page.

    9. tripod

      From MCCONNELL 163: "Any three-legged support, although the most common instance of the 'tripod' for Wells's readers would probably have been the tripod on which older cameras were mounted."

    10. A flash, and it came out vividly, heeling over one way with two feet in the air, to vanish and reappear almost instantly as it seemed, with the next flash, a hundred yards nearer.

      From MCCONNELL 164: "This is a remarkable anticipation of the 'strobe effect' of rapid flashes of light, which we have come to associate (through films as much as through real experience of warfare) with modern battle scenes."

    11. imagine it a great thing of metal, like the body of a colossal steam engine on a tripod stand

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume changes this to simply "imagine it a great body of machinery on a tripod stand." This seems likely to be part of Wells's negative response to Warwick Goble's depictions of the Martian fighting machines, which resembled known human technology more than Wells would have liked. See text comparison page, note on "The Terrible Trades of Sheffield" below, and the additional passage in what would eventually become Book II, Chapter 2 in the 1898 volume.

    12. In this was the Martian.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. Perhaps the sentence was thought to be redundant or that it revealed a piece of information the narrator could not have known at the time. See text comparison page.

    13. simply stupefied

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume replaces this phrase with "in the rain and darkness"; another instance of deemphasizing the narrator's emotions in favor of a more "objective" perspective. See text comparison page.

    14. Apparently his neck had been broken. The lightning flashed for a third time, and his face leapt upon me. I sprang to my feet. It was the landlord of the “Spotted Dog,” whose conveyance I had taken.

      From STOVER 107: The narrator's false promise to return the dogcart was likely the cause of the landlord's death; he couldn't escape because the narrator had taken his means of conveyance.

    15. My strength and courage seemed absolutely exhausted. A great horror of this darkness and desolation about me came upon me.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. Another clear instance of removing references to the narrator's emotional and physical responses to his predicament. See text comparison page.

    16. Street Chobham

      GANGNES: This should be Cobham, which was confused with Chobham--a village to the northwest of Woking mentioned several times in the novel. Cobham is five miles to the east and slightly north of Woking on the way from Woking (via Byfleet) to Leatherhead. It seems that either Wells or the editors of Pearson's mistakenly wrote "Street Chobham" instead of "Street Cobham"; the error is corrected in the 1898 version.

    17. Later I was to learn that this was the case. That with incredible rapidity these bodiless brains, these limbless intelligences, had built up these monstrous structures since their arrival, and, no longer sluggish and inert, were now able to go to and fro, destroying and irresistible.

      GANGNES: This section is replaced in the 1898 edition with the following passage after "...rules in his body?":

      "I began to compare the things to human machines, to ask myself for the first time in my life how an ironclad or a steam engine would seem to an intelligent lower animal."

      This revision is particularly interesting because Wells removed language referring to steam engines and other human technologies in the narrator's description of the fighting machines in the previous chapter (beginning "And this Thing!").

      In this site's page on "The Terrible Trades of Sheffield," a connection is drawn between these edits and Wells's opinion of Warwick Goble's illustrations, which were too close to human technologies. In the revision, then, Wells reframes human technologies as part of an analogy; Martian technology is beyond human technology to so far a degree as to be incomprehensible to humans.

    18. a driver in the Artillery

      From MCCONNELL170: "That is, he drove the horse-drawn carriage of the heavy field guns."

      GANGNES: As other scholars have pointed out (e.g., HUGHES AND GEDULD 210), the marked difference in the role of the artilleryman in the Pearson's as compared with the novel constitutes a significant change between the two versions. He is the "man" in the new chapter--"The Man on Putney Hill"--added for the volume, and he is a conduit through which the novel explores how humankind might grapple (or fail to grapple) with such a crisis as the Martian invasion. See Installment 9.

    19. thing like a huge photographic camera

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume replaces this with "complicated metallic case, about which green flashes scintillated" and changes "funnel" to "eye." Again we "lose" language about photography, despite the fact that the novel as a whole retains such references in other areas. See text comparison page.

    20. pillars of fire

      GANGNES: MCCONNELL is partially incorrect here; his citation is more thorough in that it addresses both the pillar of fire and pillar of smoke, but the appropriate chapter is Exodus 13, not Exodus 15. The most thorough and correct citation here would be a combination of the two--Exodus 13:21-22--which STOVER cites, though inexplicably as a note at the beginning of Chapter XII rather than at the textual reference.

      From MCCONNELL 173: "In Exodus 15:21-22, God sends a pillar of fire to guide the Israelites through the Sinai Desert by night, and a pillar of cloud to guide them by day."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 209: "See Exodus 13:21: 'And the Lord went before them [to guide the Israelites through the Sinai] ... by night in a pillar of fire."

      From STOVER 114: [quotes Exodus 13:21-22, then:] "As the Lord guided the Israelites through the Sinai desert, so the Martians lead humanity through a wasteland of suffering. Ahead, leaving the old order behind, is the promise of world unity."

    1. SUMMARY

      GANGNES: Summaries like these are common in serialized fiction, as they are in comics and on television series--a kind of "previously on" bit of information. This not only reminds readers what happened in the previous installment (which in this case, would have been released a month prior), but also allows new readers to jump in at a later issue if they missed out. This was especially important in cases where an issue of a popular magazine or newspaper might have been sold out.

    2. And then something happened, so swift, so incredible, that for a time it left me dumbfounded, not understanding at all the thing that I had seen.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. This is another instance (see Installment 1) where a comment about the narrator's feelings has been removed. See text comparison page.

    3. the ghost of a beam of light

      GANGNES: The differences between Cosmo Rowe's illustrations and Warwick Goble's exemplify the difficulties presented for illustrators by invisibility or near-invisibility. Different illustrators have chosen to depict the heat ray in different ways that make clear the cause-and-effect relationship of the ray being pointed and its targets being lit on fire. Usually this requires a visual representation, even though the ray is described as invisible.

    4. It was the occurrence of a second, this swift, unanticipated, inexplicable death.

      GANGNES: This sentence was cut from the 1898 volume. It begins a section of the text--from here through the end of Chapter V, that was heavily revised in the transition from serialized version to volume. Again, most of these revisions deemphasize the emotional (and sometimes physical) responses of the narrator to the Martians. This takes the focus of Wells's depictions of the Martians off of the narrator and perhaps allows the reader to form their own emotional response with minimal mediation from the narrator. See text comparison page.

    5. the peace of the evening

      GANGNES: like the peace that the white flag was supposed to signal

    6. much as the parabolic mirror of a lighthouse projects a beam of light

      From STOVER 81: "The Heat-Ray is often taken as a prophecy of beam-focused lasers, but this is to miss the photographic metaphor Wells uses: 'the camera that fired the Heat-Ray,' 'the camera-like generator of the Heat-Ray.' The Martians' rayguns are in fact cameras in reverse, emitting light not receiving it, and they are in fact mounted on tripods as were the heavy old cameras of the day. What they see they zap. More, the photo-journalistic realism of the invasion recounted by the narrator recalls that of Roger Fenton, whose coverage of the Crimean War in 1855 is the first instance of a war photographer on the scene of action. His pictures were accompanied by sensational stories done by the famed William Howard Russell of the London Times, the first war correspondent in the modern sense. The narrator's account is modeled after both precedents, visually and journalistically."

      GANGNES: Stover here gestures to (though not by name) MCCONNELL (145), whose note is quoted by HUGHES AND GEDULD in their edition. MCCONNELL'S note reads: "Though the details of the heat-ray are vague, they do anticipate in some remarkable ways the development of the laser beam in the 1950s."

      That said, MCCONNELL and others rightly point to one of the numerous instances in which Wells's descriptions of technologies and events appear prescient. Indeed, many of the Martian technologies seem to anticipate military tech developed for use in the First and Second World Wars. For an analysis of The War of the Worlds and its early illustrations as they relate to early twentieth-century warfare, see Gangnes, "Wars of the Worlds: H.G. Wells’s Ekphrastic Style in Word and Image" in Art and Science in Word and Image: Exploration and Discovery (Brill, 2019), pp. 100-114.

    7. the mounted policeman came galloping through the confusion with his hands clasped over his head and screaming

      GANGNES: This is the policeman who is depicted running from the Heat Ray in both of Cosmo Rowe's illustrations (the Installment 1 header image and the Installment 2 frontispiece). He must have found the image very striking.

    8. To think of it brings back very vividly the whooping of my panting breath as I ran. All about me gathered the invisible terrors of the Martians, that pitiless sword of heat seemed whirling to and fro, flourishing overhead before it descended and smote me out of life.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. This is another instance of deemphasizing the narrator's emotional and physical responses to the Martians; the replacement sentence from the volume reads: "All about me gathered the invisible terrors of the Martians; that pitiless sword of heat seemed whirling to and fro, flourishing overhead before it descended and smote me out of life." See text comparison page.

    9. ran a little boy

      GANGNES: A macabre parallel to the "little boy" who was crushed in the previous scene.

    10. Perhaps I am a man of exceptional moods. I do not know how far my experience is common. At times I suffer from the strangest sense of utter detachment from myself and the world about me; I seem to watch it all from the outside, from somewhere inconceivably remote, out of time, out of space, out of the stress and tragedy of it all. This feeling was very strong upon me that night. Here was another side to my dream.

      GANGNES: This is one of a handful of sections that was not cut from the 1898 volume where the narrator explicitly evaluates his own mental and emotional state. The rumination here evokes associations with depression and the feelings of isolation it can cause. It is not clear whether Wells is speaking from experience in this instance. From a narrative perspective, asides like this may call the narrator's reliability into question; he cannot function as an objective journalist figure (indeed, no journalist is "objective") if he is emotionally compromised.

    11. It seemed impossible to make these people grasp a terror upon which my mind even could not retain its grip of realisation.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. This is yet another instance where a comment about the narrator's feelings has been removed. There are a few smaller edits in the next few paragraphs that have a similar effect. Some refer to the narrator's wife's emotional responses as well. See text comparison page.

    12. photographically distinct

      GANGNES: See earlier note in this installment from STOVER on "much as the parabolic mirror of a lighthouse projects a beam of light." As MCCONNELL (182) notes in Installment 4: "The first portable camera, the Kodak, had been patented by George Eastman in 1888. Wells himself was an ardent amateur photographer."

      Even before the portable camera and the beginnings of amateur photography, the prevalence of photojournalism would have made most readers familiar with, and likely interested in, photography. References to cameras and photography, especially in relation to the heat ray, are prevalent throughout the novel.

      More information:

    13. the dove-tailing of the commonplace habits of our social order with the first beginnings of the series of events that was to topple that social order headlong

      From MCCONNELL 151: "This introduces another 'Darwinian' theme of the story: the transformation of an established, normal-seeming social order by extreme stress from the outside."

    14. the sensation an ultimatum to Germany would have done

      From DANAHAY 64: "Wells compares the opening of the 'war' with the Martians to the reaction that would have accompanied a declaration of war [by Britain] against another country like Germany."

    15. receiving no reply—the man was killed—decided not to print a special edition

      GANGNES: Because the newspapers didn't hear from Henderson after he sent a telegram with the news about the capsule's landing, the newspaper decided that it must have been a hoax, so it did not report a story on it. People have been murdered by the Martian heat-ray by this point, and hardly anyone who wasn't at the pit knows about the incident.

    16. A boy from the town, trenching on Smith’s monopoly, was selling papers with the afternoon’s news.

      GANGNES: MCCONNELL is somewhat at odds with HUGHES AND GEDULD and STOVER here; H&G's identification of "Smith" as referring to the newsagent W. H. Smith is important to the print culture of Victorian Britain. I include MCCONNELL to show that critical/annotated editions are not infallible.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 205: "Cutting into or 'poaching on' W. H. Smith's monopoly of selling newspapers inside the station. The chain of W. H. Smith to this day has the exclusive rights to selling newspapers, magazines, and books in m any British railroad stations."

      From MCCONNELL 153: "'Trenching' means encroaching. The newsboy is selling his papers at a station where Mr. Smith has a permanent newsstand."

      From STOVER 91: "Reference to W.H. Smith, whose chain of stationery stores to this day has the exclusive rights to sell newspapers, books, and magazines in British railway stations."

    17. north-west

      GANGNES: As HUGHES AND GEDULD point out (see below), this is a mistake that was not corrected in any of the novel's revisions. The error is somewhat jarring considering that Wells painstakingly situates the Martian invasion at extremely specific real locations. For more information on where this project situates the landing site, see the map page on The (De)collected War of the Worlds.

      HUGHES AND GEDULD 206: "This is a slip. The second cylinder falls to the northeast ... in or near the 'Byfleet' or 'Addlestone' Golf Links (really the New Zealand Golf Course, then the only course thereabouts and the one Wells must mean)."

    18. Soon after these pine woods and others about the Byfleet Golf Links were seen to be on fire.

      GANGNES: In the 1898 volume, this sentence is replaced with simply, "This was the second cylinder." The change of a chapter's end in this way produces quite a different effect. The serialized sentence heightens the drama and serves as a very effective cliffhanger by evoking an image of destruction. The shorter, more straightforward chapter end sentence from the 1898 volume is freed from the pressure of contributing to a cliffhanger. It has a more objective, informative, journalistic tone while still promising action in the next chapter. See text comparison page.

    1. Daily News

      GANGNES: Daily News here is changed to Daily Chronicle in the 1898 volume and subsequent editions. The discrepancy between Daily News in the serialized version and Daily Chronicle in the volume could be due to an error on Wells's part that was corrected for the 1898 edition.

      The Daily News (1846-1912) was first advertised as a "Morning Newspaper of Liberal Politics and thorough Independence," set up as a rival to the Morning Chronicle. It was edited by Charles Dickens at its launch. The paper "advocated reform in social, political, and economic legislation, fought for a Free Press in supporting the repeal of the Stamp Act, campaigned for impartial dealings with the natives of India and supported Irish Home Rule." It was known for its detailed war reporting, which boosted its circulation.

      The Daily Chronicle was a later name (beginning in 1877) of the Clerkenwell News (1855-1930). The paper was "liberal and radical," with a daily column entitled "The Labour Movement" featured in the 1890s. Interestingly, the paper eventually merged with the Daily News (becoming the News Chronicle), but not until 1930--after even the 1925 edition of The War of the Worlds, let alone the 1898 edition.

      Source:

    2. Warwick Goble (1862-1948)

      GANGNES: Warwick Goble (1862-1943) was a Victorian and early-twentieth-century periodical and book illustrator. His watercolor book illustrations have strong Japanese and Chinese influences and themes. Simon Houfe refers to Goble as a "brilliant watercolour painter of the 1900s and 1920s" and writes that Goble's "filmy translucent watercolours, with their subtle tints and Japanese compositions ... are unique in British illustration, but are not noticed by the collectors of [Arthur] Rackham and [Edmund] Dulac" (210).

      In his dictionary entry, Houfe only acknowledges Goble's early relationship with periodicals in his role as a staff illustrator for the Pall Mall Gazette and the Westminster Gazette; Pearson's Magazine is not mentioned, despite the fact that Goble illustrated not only The War of the Worlds, but also Arthur Conan Doyle's Tales of the High Seas (short series) and other pieces in 1897. He provided illustrations for volumes of two other major pieces of late-Victorian serialized fiction: Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Kidnapped.

      Biographical sources:

    3. Nature

      From MCCONNELL 126: Nature is a scientific journal first edited by Sir Norman Lockyer, who was one of Wells's teachers at the Normal School of Science.

      From STOVER 57: This is a reference to the article "A strange Light on Mars," which was published in Nature in 1894.

      GANGNES: This is one of the many instances where Wells establishes the novel within a framework of real scientific discoveries and historical events. This enhances the realism and journalistic quality of the narrative.

      More information:

    4. Ogilvy, the well known astronomer

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 200: "Ogilvy is no doubt a fictive name. An astronomer of the same name first observes the approaching cataclysm in Wells's short story 'The Star.'"

    5. just a second or so under twenty-four hours after the first one

      GANGNES: Presumably this timing is necessary because the capsules are all being "aimed" at roughly the same area geographically; the cylinders need a "straight shot" from their giant gun (cannon), and the Earth takes 24 hours to rotate back to roughly the same position in reference to the Sun. It may also take a significant amount of time to reload a new capsule into the gun.

    6. the chances against anything man-like on Mars are a million to one, he said

      GANGNES: A variation on this line is used as the first sung lines in track 1 ("The Eve of the War") of Jeff Wayne's 1978 musical adaptation of The War of the Worlds (LP only; not originally performed live as a play). In the musical, the line is altered to "The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, he said." Ogilvy is telling the narrator that there may well be life on Mars, but it is not likely to be "man-like," i.e., intelligent and capable of communicating in the way humans communicate. The musical's altered line instead has Ogilvy opine that regardless of what kind of life might be on Mars, the odds that Martians would come to Earth are very low.

      The musical incorporates narration adapted from the novel, instrumental music, vocals, and "plot" additions. The LP set was sold with an accompanying illustrated booklet related to the novel's plot. The musical has recently been updated as "The New Generation." Live performances of the musical with accompanying stage effects tour the United Kingdom.

      More information:

    7. I remember how jubilant Markham was at securing a new photograph of the planet for the illustrated paper he edited in those days.

      GANGNES: It is not clear whether "Markham" is supposed to refer to a real editor of a specific newspaper. W. O. Markham edited the British Medical Journal, but that publication was not an illustrated paper. It is highly likely that "Markham" is a fictional character who is an acquaintance of the narrator

      Source:

    8. People in these latter times scarcely realise the abundance and enterprise of our nineteenth century papers.

      GANGNES: The narrator's comment here underscores this novel's preoccupation with the Victorian press. The style of the narration evokes something of war journalism from this period, and the unreliability and mercenary practices of newspapers are a theme throughout the novel. Wells is not exaggerating; the Victorian period has been called the "Golden Age" of the British periodical because of the staggering number and quality of newspapers, journals, and magazines published during the time.

      More information:

    9. Henderson, the London journalist

      GANGNES: There are quite a few real "Henderson"s associated with the nineteenth-century press. However, given the role of "Henderson" in this novel, it seems unlikely that the name was meant to refer to any particular journalist.

      Source:

    10. Few of the common people in England had anything but the vaguest astronomical ideas in those days.

      GANGNES: This statement implies that most English people became far more familiar with astronomy after their country was invaded by aliens from another planet.

    11. A MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM MARS

      GANGNES: This is one of the many instances in which newspapers release information that is incorrect, vague, or unhelpful. Throughout the novel, the narrator criticizes the inaccuracy and mercenary nature of the press.

    12. three kingdoms

      GANGNES: You will see below that three different annotated editions of the novel give three different definitions of this reference, and they do not agree as to whether it is Wales or Ireland that is meant to be the "third kingdom."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 203: England, Ireland, and Scotland

      From STOVER 70: Of Great Britain

      From DANAHAY 52: England, Scotland, and Wales

    13. Stent, the Astronomer Royal

      From STOVER 27: "The Astronomer Royal was director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, but 'Stent' is not recorded as one of them." "Stent" may have been used for political reasons.

    14. Lord Hilton, the lord of Horsell Manor

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 203: "No Horsell Manor or Lord Hilton has been traced"; "the local lord was Lord Onslow of Clandon."

      From STOVER 71: The name may have been changed for political reasons.

    15. You who have only seen the dead monsters in spirit in the National History museum, shriveled brown bulks, can scarcely imagine the strange horror of their appearance.

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume removes this address to the reader and its reference to the Natural History museum. See text comparison page. Here is the revised sentence: "Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance." In general, appeals to the reader (i.e., usage of "you" or similar) are minimized in the volume. Such revisions may aid in making the novel's tone more journalistic.

    16. At that my rigour of terror passed away.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. See text comparison page. This is one of many instances in which the volume omits the narrator's references to his own feelings, especially somewhat cowardly/frightened reactions. Like appeals to the reader, personal responses could undermine the journalistic tone that characterizes most of the novel.