330 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2019
    1. I think that we should remember how repulsive our carnivorous habits would seem to an intelligent rabbit.

      GANGNES: Passages such as these garnered praise for the novel in late-Victorian vegetarian publications such as The Herald of the Golden Age (1896-1918) and The Vegetarian Magazine (1890-1909).

      More information:

  2. May 2019
    1. Crystal Palace

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: "a Victorian exhibition center constructed (in 1854 by Sir John Paxton) of glass and iron. It was originally used to showcase materials from the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Palace, which burned in the 1930s, was in Sydenham in southeast London, about eight miles from the city center."

      GANGNES: The Crystal Palace was a massive glass structure constructed for the Great Exhibition of 1851. It stood in Hyde Park, London until it was moved to Sydenham Hill in 1852-4, where it remained until it was burned down in 1936. It During the Exhibition, it housed exhibits on cultures, animals, and technologies from all over the world.

      More information:

      "View from the Knightsbridge Road of The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park for Grand International Exhibition of 1851":

    2. 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.

    3. 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:

    4. 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:

    5. Installment 9 of 9 (December 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book II, Chapter VIII ("Dead London") through Chapter X ("The Epilogue") of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions. "The Man on Putney Hill"--Book II, Chapter VII of the volume--did not appear in the Pearson's version.

      This is the cover of the December 1897 issue of Pearson's Magazine: the 1897 Double Christmas Number:

    6. XXI.―AFTER THE FIFTEEN DAYS (continued).

      GANGNES: For the 1898 volume, Wells inserted a new chapter--"The Man on Putney Hill"--just before this point in the text. This chapter features a reunion between the narrator and the artilleryman he met in Woking in Installment 3. In this new chapter, the artilleryman shares his grandiose plans for a new human civilization that would be rebuilt in the water mains beneath London, so that even when the Martians take over, Britons can preserve their culture and thrive there until they are ready to rise up against the Martians. It soon becomes clear to the narrator that the artilleryman has gone mad: the "gulf between his dreams and his powers" is insurmountable. See the 1898 version of the text in facsimile and the Project Gutenberg transcription.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. Baker Street

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: "an important thoroughfare in London's West End area. The (fictitious) home of Sherlock Holmes was at 221B Baker Street."

      GANGNES: The majority of the Sherlock Holmes stories, like The War of the Worlds, were serialized in a popular general-interest periodical--in this case, The Strand Magazine. Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the Holmes stories, was active around the same time as Wells, and they published in some of the same periodicals.

      More information:

    10. 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.

    11. thought of the poisons in the chemists’ shops, of the liquors the wine merchants stored

      GANGNES: These are potential ways to kill oneself and join the rest of London, the narrator considers.

    12. We were the last of men.

      Cut from the 1898 volume. See text comparison page.

    13. overwhelmed in its overthrow

      GANGNES: Lost its balance or similar and fell.

    14. Zoological Gardens

      GANGNES: Now better known as the London Zoo. The Zoological Society of London established the Zoological Gardens in 1828. For excerpts from primary and secondary accounts, see Lee Jackson, "Victorian London - Entertainment and Recreation - Zoo's and Menageries - London Zoo / Zoological Gardens."

    15. 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.

    16. 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:

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. There is a round store place for wines by the Chalk Farm Station, and vast railway yards, marked once with a graining of black rails, but red lined now with the quick rusting of a fortnight’s disuse.

      GANGNES: This sentence is cut from the 1898 volume and a paragraph break is added. See text comparison page.

    20. St. Paul’s

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: "Sir Christopher Wren's great cathedral. In London, east of Ludgate Hill, one-eighth of a mile north of the Thames at Blackfriars."

      GANGNES: St. Paul's Cathedral is a massive cathedral that traces its origins to the year 604. It lies in the Blackfriars region of London, near the London Stock Exchange, and is tall enough that it would have been visible to the narrator in most parts of the city.

      More information:

      St. Paul's Cathedral in the late nineteenth century:

    21. tintinnabulations

      GANGNES: "a ringing of a bell or bells, bell-ringing; the sound or music so produced" (Oxford English Dictionary)

    22. 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.

    23. eked

      GANGNES: "to supplement, supply the deficiencies of anything" (Oxford English Dictionary)

    24. 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.

    25. 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.

    26. Camden Town

      GANGNES: district in north London just southeast of Primrose Hill and northeast of Regent's Park, adjacent to the London Zoo.

    27. Nom de Dieu!

      GANGNES: French, "Name of God!"

    28. Vive l’Angleterre!

      GANGNES: French, "Long live England!"

    29. 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.

    30. special constable

      GANGNES: "Special constables" in the Victorian period were private citizens who were appointed or volunteered to help the official police keep the peace in times of crisis. The "white badge" (below) likely refers to the white armbands issued to special constables in the nineteenth century. "Staff" may indicate their truncheons, or the narrator was given another kind of wooden weapon.

      More information:

    31. The door had been forced

      GANGNES: Someone had broken in while the narrator was gone.

    32. 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.

    33. 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.

    34. At the very base of the vegetable kingdom

      GANGNES: The following two paragraphs are cut from the 1898 volume, likely because a similar discussion of microorganisms appears in a different place in the revision. See text comparison page.

    35. “Germs.”

      GANGNES: The Germ Theory of Disease ("Germ Theory")--the understanding that diseases are caused by microorganisms (bacteria and viruses)--only came into British public consciousness toward the end of the nineteenth century. Prior to the rise of Germ Theory, "Miasma Theory" dominated scientific conceptions of the nature of disease. Gaining a better understanding of how diseases were caused and spread led to reforms in public health and sanitation.

      More information:

    36. conducive to digestion and even essential

      GANGNES: We now know for a certainty that bacteria are absolutely essential to digestion in human beings and many other organisms. See Sai Manasa Jandhyala, et al, "Role of the Normal Gut Microbiota" (2015).

    37. That they did not bury any of their dead, and the reckless slaughter they perpetrated, point also to an entire ignorance of the putrefactive process.

      GANGNES: The hypothesis here is that the Martians do not bury their dead because the dead do not decompose on their planet, or at least do not decompose in a way that risks making others ill.

    38. 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.

    39. 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).

    40. 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.

    41. a score or so of miles

      GANGNES: A "score" is 20 miles, so roughly 20-40 miles.

    42. The photographs were reproduced

      GANGNES: This sentence was cut from the 1898 volume; we lose this referencing back to the Nature article. See text comparison page.

    43. 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:

    44. corresponding column of Nature

      GANGNES: This is a reference to the real article in Nature that was mentioned in Installment 1 ("A Strange Light on Mars").

    45. commonweal

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "common well-being; esp. the general good, public welfare, prosperity of the community."

    46. the mockery of life in a galvanised body

      GANGNES: Possibly a reference to Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus (1818), or at least to the theories about using electricity to reanimate dead flesh that inspired her story. See Sharon Ruston, "The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein" on the British Library's website.

    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. its cactus-like branches

      GANGNES: Illustrations of the Red Weed vary significantly across illustrations and adaptations of The War of the Worlds. In many cases, the weed resembles a creeping vine or red kelp. Only one of the novel's major illustrators, Johan Briedé, took the "cactus-like" quality of the plants to heart. Briedé's illustrations were published in The Strand Magazine in 1920 with an introduction from Wells himself.

      More information:

    3. Installment 8 of 9 (November 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book II, Chapter II ("What We Saw from the Ruined House") through Chapter VI ("The Work of Fifteen Days") of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

      This is the cover of the November 1897 issue of Pearson's Magazine:

    4. 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.

    5. these wretched creatures

      GANGNES: Which is to say, the human being captured by the Martians.

    6. 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.

    7. vivisects

      GANGNES: Vivisection is "the action of cutting or dissecting some part of a living organism; spec. the action or practice of performing dissection, or other painful experiment, upon living animals as a method of physiological or pathological study" (Oxford English Dictionary).

      Since Wells cut this section from the volume, no explicit reference to vivisection remains in a collected edition of the novel. However, the practice is central to Wells's 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau.

      More information:

    8. tear out the hair of the living women they captured, in order to deck themselves with the spoils; nor did they, in my judgment, carry the sporting instinct quite so far as men

      GANGNES: These are references to how human beings treat "lower animals"; for example, hunting them for fun, skinning them or cutting their horns for clothing and jewelry, and so forth. The comparison would be especially appropriate during a time when "big game"/trophy/sport hunting in colonial locales (especially Africa) was popular among British men. A particularly tragic example is the ivory trade, which forms the backdrop of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899).

      More information:

    9. birds used in pigeon shooting, theirs was indisputably a fortunate one. And the aimless collecting spirit which encourages the systematic impalement of insects by children

      GANGNES: Live pigeon shooting was at peak popularity in late-1800s Britain. It involved rounding up live pigeons and releasing them in such a way that participants could shoot them with rifles mid-flight. Clay pigeon shooting was introduced in 1880 as a more controlled, convenient, and humane sport.

      The "systematic impalement of insects" refers to butterfly collecting and other sorts of insect collecting--a fad that was extremely popular during the Victorian period (it features in George Eliot's novel Middlemarch (1871-2)). Insects were displayed to their best advantage by driving a pin through their bodies to stick them into display boxes.

      More information:

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. the case with the ants

      GANGNES: Ants do sleep, though not in the same way humans or many other animals do.

      More information:

    13. wonderful

      GANGNES: In this case, strange and unbelievable (not inherently a good thing).

    14. 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.

    15. the case.

      GANGNES: The 1898 version of the novel adds two paragraphs here about the thoughts of "a certain speculative writer of quasi-scientific repute" on Martian technology and anatomy. This is commonly thought to be a cheeky reference to Wells himself. See text comparison page.

    16. 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.

    17. I found it broadcast

      GANGNES: The narrator heard about the Red Weed spreading across England through its waterways.

    18. 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:

    19. other artificial additions to their bodily resources

      GANGNES: The Fighting Machines, Handling Machines, Heat Ray, and other Martian technologies that are useful rather than for ornamentation or protection from the elements.

    20. 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.

    21. 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.

    22. 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.

    23. 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):

    24. . . . . .

      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.

    25. 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.

    26. stun

      GANGNES: In this case, a tool or object the narrator can use to knock the curate unconscious or make him quiet some other way.

    27. butt

      GANGNES: the end of the handle of the meat cleaver

    28. 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.

    29. I thought at once that it would tell of my presence from the mark of the blow I had given him.

      GANGNES: The narrator thinks that the Martians are smart enough to tell by looking at the curate's head injury that there must be some other human inside the house who had attacked the curate.

    30. worried

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary: "to pull or tear at (an object)."

    31. catch

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a device for fastening or checking the motion of something, esp. a latch or other mechanism for fastening a door, window, etc."

    32. touching and examining

      GANGNES: The tactile nature of the Martians' hunt for the narrator is a scene of intense tension in adaptations and illustrations of the novel. Byron Haskin’s 1953 film increases the danger posed by the machine's searching tentacle by adding a mechanical "eye" to its end, so that the characters must stay out of sight as well as still.

      More information:

    33. 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.

    34. My mind ran on eating.

      GANGNES: Which is to say, all the narrator can think about is eating food.

    35. 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.

    36. ruddy

      GANGNES: red or red-brown

    37. sand. I

      GANGNES: The 1898 version adds the following small paragraph between these two sentences (see text comparison page):

      "Slowly I thrust myself out through the red weed, and stood upon the mound of rubble. I could see in any direction save behind me, to the north, and neither Martians nor sign of Martians were to be seen. The pit dropped sheerly from my feet, but a little way along the rubbish afforded a practicable slope to the summit of the ruins. My chance of escape had come. I began to tremble."

    38. XXI.―AFTER THE FIFTEEN DAYS.

      GANGNES: There is no paragraph here in the 1898 volume; it was moved to after "...gently swaying" (with a new sentence to end it: "And oh! the sweetness of the air!") and renamed, "The Work of Fifteen Days." See text comparison page.

    39. without a solitary terrestrial growth to dispute their footing

      GANGNES: There are no Earth plants around to compete with the Red Weed for space; the red Martian plants are taking over Earth's green vegetation.

    40. For a time I stood marvelling at the change that had come over the world.

      GANGNES: This paragraph is revised and expanded into a lengthy passage wherein the narrator grapples with the changes in the countryside around him after finally escaping from the ruined house. He is reckless and dazed for a few moments before he gets a hold of himself again and begins to search for food. See text comparison page.

    41. insecurity

      GANGNES: In this case, vulnerability or lack of safety.

    42. gladiolus

      GANGNES: Gladiolus are flowering plants, not vegetables. The flowers and greens are edible to humans, but eating the bulbs is not advised.

      More information:

    43. 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.

    44. 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.

    45. both hurried away from the advances I made them

      GANGNES: Presumably the narrator is hoping to eat one of the dogs, as he planned to with the dog that came near the ruined house.

    46. I found the crushed and scattered bones of several cats and rabbits, and the skull of a sheep

      GANGNES: It is not clear whether the Martians ate these animals, humans ate them, or other animals ate them. The text suggests that the Martians prefer to eat human beings.

    47. I went down Putney High Street

      GANGNES: The section beginning here and ending with "...across the pavement" is either removed from the 1898 volume or repurposed and moved moved until after an additional chapter--"The Man on Putney Hill"--is inserted. There is a lengthier note about "The Man on Putney Hill" at the beginning of Installment 9. See text comparison page.

    48. as black as a sweep

      GANGNES: Which is to say, like a chimney sweep covered in coal dust from cleaning a chimney.

    49. magnum

      GANGNES: "a bottle for wine, spirits, etc., twice the standard size and now usually containing 1½ litres (formerly two quarts); the quantity of liquor held by such a bottle" (Oxford English Dictionary)

    50. pavement.

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume here adds the line "She seemed asleep, but she was dead." This becomes a problem for consistency between the serial and the volume; see HUGHES AND GEDULD note in Installment 9.

    1. Waltham Abbey Powder Mills

      GANGNES: Waltham Abbey is ~15 miles north of the London city center. This is where the Royal Gunpowder Mills are located. Gunpowder production began there in the 1660s, and by the nineteenth century the mill was taking advantage of steam power to supply explosives to the British Navy and Army. The destruction of this site, then, is a huge blow to the British defense against the Martians; in trying to destroy one of the fighting machines, the British destroy a valuable supply of explosives for their military.

      More information:

    2. Installment 7 of 9 (October 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book I ("The Coming of the Martians"), part of Chapter XVII and Chapter I of Book II ("London Under the Martians") of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

      This is the cover of the October 1897 issue of Pearson's Magazine:

    3. THUNDER CHILD

      GANGNES: The battle of the Thunder Child is one of the most action-packed scenes in the novel. It has been a favored scene for many adaptations and illustrations, including the album cover for Jeff Wayne's musical adaptation (see Installment 1 annotations):

      More information:

    4. 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.

    5. New River

      GANGNES: The New River is actually an aqueduct created in the 1600s, hence the fact that is a source of drinking water here. See "The New River" on the History of London website.

    6. 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.

    7. Blackfriars Bridge. At that the Pool became a scene of mad confusion, fighting and collision, and for some time a multitude of boats and barges jammed in the northern arch of the Tower Bridge

      GANGNES: Blackfriars Bridge and Tower Bridge are two large bridges spanning the Thames from north to south in the eastern part of London. Today, the Millennium Bridge (a pedestrian bridge) and Southwark Bridge lie between them, but Southwark Bridge wasn't opened until 1921, and the Millennium Bridge 2000 (hence the name). These are four of the five Thames bridges overseen today by the London City Corporation. See the City of London site's page on bridges.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: Blackfriars Bridge is "a bridge in central London between Waterloo Bridge and Southwark Bridge. It spans the Thames from Queen Victoria Street (on the north)to Southwark Street (on the south).

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 234: Tower Bridge is "London's most famous bridge. It opens periodically to admit the passage of shipping. It spans the Thames between the Tower of London (on the north) and the district of Bermondsey (on the south)."

    8. Limehouse

      GANGNES: area of London east of Southwark Bridge and Tower Bridge (and the Tower of London), on the north bank of the Thames

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: "a tough, working-class district in London's East End. It is north of Commercial Road and East India Dock Road, about five miles east of Charing Cross."

    9. 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.

    10. Colchester

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: "a town in northeast Sussex, on the river Colne, about seventy miles northeast of central London."

      GANGNES: Colchester is near the east coast of England, ~25 miles northeast of Chelmsford.

    11. Highgate and even it was said at Neasden

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: Highgate is "a district of north London, on a hill below Hampstead Heath. One of the most picturesque parts of London, it was (in the 1890s) and still is an area of many fine houses."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 231: Neasden is "a northwest suburb of greater London, about six miles from the city center. It is now heavily residential but it was quite rural in the 1890s."

      GANGNES: Highgate is to the north and slightly east of Chalk Farm; Neasden is to the northwest of Chalk Farm.

    12. Birmingham

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: "England's second largest city, in northwest Warwick, about 110 miles northwest of London."

    13. Chipping Ongar

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: "a small town in west Essex about sixteen miles north-northeast of London"

      GANGNES: Chipping Ongar is to the east and slightly north of Edgware, ~2/3 of the way from Edgware to Chelmsford (relevant to the narrator's brother's journey).

    14. Primrose Hill

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 232: "an eminence north of Regent's Park, with the London Zoo below. It commands an extensive view of London."

      GANGNES: Primrose Hill is just south of Chalk Farm.

    15. Tillingham

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 234: "a small town in Essex, about four miles west of the North Sea and sixty-five miles northeast of central London."

      GANGNES: Tillingham is north of Foulness and northeast of Southend.

    16. Harwich, and Walton, and Clacton, and afterwards to Foulness and Shoebury

      GANGNES: villages on the eastern coast of England; the sailors are traveling from north to south along the coast

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: Clacton (officially Clacton-on-Sea) is "a resort town on the North Sea, about eighty miles northeast of London."

    17. Hamburg

      GANGNES: port city in Germany

    18. Blackwater

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: "a river about forty miles long in the south of England. It flows from Saffron Walden to Mersea Island, where it enters the North Sea."

      GANGNES: wide river flowing in from the east coast of England, north of Foulness and Southend; Maldon (below) lies at the western point where it narrows

    19. chaffering

      From MCCONNELL 227: haggling

    20. Channel Fleet

      GANGNES: "a fleet of the Royal Navy detailed for service in the English Channel. ... In 1909 the Channel Fleet became the 2nd Division of the Home Fleet." (Oxford English Dictionary).

    21. camera-like generator

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

    22. matchwood

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "very small pieces or splinters of wood."

    23. XVIII.—LONDON UNDER THE MARTIANS.

      GANGNES: In the 1898 edition, this is the point where the novel is split into two books. Book II is called "Earth Under the Martians," and this chapter becomes Chapter I of Book II: "Under Foot."

    24. My inexpertness as a story writer

      GANGNES: In the 1898 edition, nearly the entirety of the text from this point through "...heels of fact" (the beginning of page 454) is cut and replaced by a new paragraph and a half. See text comparison page.

    25. 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.

    26. I was for staying in the village indefinitely, for there we had provisions for weeks, if necessary, and only the remotest chance of capture, but the curate was insistent, and I could not find it in me to stop alone. So, all being quiet throughout the afternoon, we started along

      GANGNES: Cut in the 1898 version and replaced by a longer section. See text comparison page.

    27. 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.

    28. Sheen

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: "a district of greater London south of the Thames, between Richmond (on the west) and Roehampton (on the east), about eight miles west of central London"

      GANGNES: east of Twickenham, north of Richmond, west of Barnes, and south of Chiswick; essentially the same area as Mortlake

    29. semi-detached villa

      From MCCONNELL 238: "a still-common English term for a suburban dwelling house

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 216: "a fashionable name for a kind of small suburban house--in this case a two-family structure--popularly considered to be a 'better class' of dwelling"

      GANGNES: Americans might call this kind of house a high-end "duplex," in that the structure itself is the size of a large house, but there are two "homes" within it, separated by a long dividing wall. Many semi-detached houses have two floors.

    30. Mortlake

      GANGNES: area of London on the south bank of the Thames, east of Twickenham, north of Richmond, and south of Chiswick; essentially the same area as Sheen

    31. concussion

      GANGNES: explosion

    32. insensible

      GANGNES: unconscious

    33. 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.

    34. Our situation was so strange and dangerous

      GANGNES: A great deal of text is shifted around and significantly revised. See text comparison page.

    35. aperture

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "An opening, an open space between portions of solid matter; a gap, cleft, chasm, or hole."

    36. 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. Installment 6 of 9 (September 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book I ("The Coming of the Martians"), part of Chapter XV and the beginning of XVII of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

      This is the cover of the September 1897 issue of Pearson's Magazine:

    2. And here I come upon the most obscure of all the problems that centre about the Martians, the riddle of the Black Gas.

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume replaces this sentence with "Now at the time we could not understand these things, but later I was to learn the meaning of these ominous kopjes that gathered in the twilight. The fact that Chapter XV is not divided in the volume allows for a smoother transition. See text comparison page.

    3. dust.

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume adds this sentence: "Save that an unknown element giving a group of four lines in the blue of the spectrum is concerned, we are all still entirely ignorant of the nature of this substance." See text comparison page. HUGHES AND GEDULD (214) note that the addition creates an inconsistency; the epilogue describes "three lines in the green."

    4. 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."

    5. outhouses

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the door to "subsidiary building in the grounds of or adjoining a house, as a barn, shed, etc."

    6. Hampton

      GANGNES: village on the north bank of the Thames, slightly northwest of Ditton between Walton and Kingston

    7. Bushey Park

      From DANAHAY 113: large park; part of Greater London

      GANGNES: now spelled "Bushy Park"; in Hampton

    8. smoke out a wasp’s nest

      GANGNES: Smoke suffocates wasps; this practice is still done today, often with smoke-like products that can be purchased for this purpose.

    9. My brother has described the flight of the people through Chipping Barnet very vividly. And the account of his Monday morning may serve to give an idea how it was with the individuals in that pouring multitude. He himself was no longer alone when he came to Chipping Barnet.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume; perhaps it was thought to be redundant. See text comparison page.

    10. Chipping Barnet

      GANGNES: a village about 12 miles to the north of central London; Londoners are fleeing north from the Martians

    11. Chalk Farm

      GANGNES: area of London on the north side of the Thames; north of the British Museum and on the way north to Haverstock Hill, where the narrator's brother goes next

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: In the 1890s [Chalk Farm Station] was a busy station on the London and North-Western Railway (terminus Euston), at the junction of Adelaide Road and Haverstock Hill, immediately north of Primrose Hill in central London."

    12. crushing the driver against his furnace

      GANGNES: which is to say, cause the engine driver harm or even death by pushing him into the coal furnace that fuels the steam for the engine

    13. the sack of a cycle shop

      From DANAHAY 116: "sack"=looting

      GANGNES: The narrator's brother is one of the first to arrive during the process of looting a bicycle shop, which allows him to steal a bicycle before they are all taken.

    14. Haverstock Hill

      GANGNES: the northbound road through Chalk Farm

    15. Belsize Road

      GANGNES: road to the west from Chalk Farm; the narrator's brother decides to travel west instead of north because the Haverstock Hill road is blocked

    16. 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.

    17. Edgware

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: "a suburban area of greater London, in Middlesex, about seven miles northwest of the city center."

      GANGNES: north of Chalk Farm (on the narrator's brother's path)

    18. fugitives

      GANGNES: in this case, someone who is fleeing from danger; see Oxford English Dictionary

    19. Saint Albans

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: "a town in south-central Hertford, about twenty miles north-northwest of central London"

      GANGNES: about 11-12 miles north of Edgware (relevant to narrator's brother's journey)

    20. Chelmsford

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: "a small town in central Essex, about twenty-five miles east-northeast of London"

      GANGNES: about 38 miles east of Edgware (on narrator's brother's journey)

  3. Apr 2019
    1. companions

      GANGNES: Corrected to "companion" in 1898 volume. See text comparison page.

    2. Such extraordinary introductions were by no means uncommon in those strange and wonderful days. These women had no idea where to go.

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. See text comparison page.

    3. Stanmore

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: "a small town in Middlesex, about nine miles northwest of the city center. It is now part of greater London but was a rural area in the 1890s."

      GANGNES: about 3 miles west of Edgware

    4. Pinner

      GANGNES: village about 3.5 miles west of Stanmore

    5. New Barnet

      GANGNES: village about 5 miles northeast of Edgware

    6. “What is that murmur?” asked the stouter woman suddenly. They all listened and heard a sound like the droning of wheels in a distant factory, a murmurous sound, rising and falling. “If one did not know this was Middlesex,” said my brother, “we might take that for the sound of the sea.” “Do you think George can possibly find us here?” asked the slender woman abruptly. The man’s wife was for returning to their house, but my brother urged a hundred

      GANGNES: This text was cut, with the rest of the last sentence, from the 1898 volume, and replaced with a few new sentences that streamline the scene. See text comparison page.

    7. Essex towards Harwich

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: Essex is "a county of southeast England bordered by Cambridge and Suffolk (on the north), the river Thames (on the south), London (on the southwest), and the North Sea, Middlesex, and Hertford (on the east)."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: Harwich is "a North Sea port in northeast Essex, at the confluence of the rivers Stout and Orwell, about seventy miles northeast of London."

      GANGNES: Essex is 32-33 miles east of New Barnet; essentially same area as Chelmsford (where the narrator's brother's friends live).

    8. “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.

    9. North Road

      GANGNES: a road that runs directly north from Barnet Road, leading out of Barnet and far to the north

    10. There were sad, haggard women rushing by, well dressed, with children that cried and stumbled, their dainty clothes smothered in dust, their weary faces smeared with tears. With many of those came men, sometimes helpful, sometimes lowering and savage. Fighting side by side with them pushed some weary street outcast in faded black rags, wide-eyed, loud-voiced, and foul-mouthed. There were sturdy workmen thrusting their way along, wretched unkempt men clothed like clerks or shopmen, struggling spasmodically, a wounded soldier my brother noticed, men dressed in the clothes of railway porters, one wretched creature in a nightshirt with a coat thrown over it.

      GANGNES: In the 1898 volume, this section is moved down and inserted before "But varied as its composition was..." See text comparison page.

    11. lowering

      GANGNES: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "to frown, scowl; to look angry or sullen"

    12. Vestry

      GANGNES: Note that MCCONNELL, HUGHES AND GEDULD, and STOVER do not completely agree on their explanations of this reference.

      From MCCONNELL 218: In the Church of England, the Vestry is not just the room in a church where vestments are stored; it is also committee of parishioners who arrange local matters like streetcleaning.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 214: "Vestry here is not used in its usual ecclesiastical sense but refers to a committee of citizens 'vested' with the task of arranging for such basic local services as health and food inspection and garbage disposal. St. Pancras (then a London borough) is located northwest of the City of London."

      From STOVER 161: "A public-health committee of that city district responsible for its garbage removal--a task now beyond its capacity as all public services are overwhelmed."

    13. “What does it all mean?” whispered Miss Elphinstone. “I don’t know,” said my brother. “But this poor child is dropping with fear and fatigue.”

      GANGNES: Cut from the 1898 volume. See text comparison page.

    14. Chief Justice

      GANGNES: Note that MCCONNELL disagrees with HUGHES AND GEDULD and STOVER here about the importance of this title.

      From MCCONNELL 220: "In England, the presiding judge of any court with several members."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 215: "The nearest American equivalent [of "Chief Justice" here] (although there are many differences in the two offices) would be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court."

      From STOVER: "The Lord Chief Justice of England is equivalent to the Chief Justice of the United States."

    15. sovereigns

      From MCCONNELL 220: gold coins worth two pounds, eighteen shillings (each)

      From DANAHAY 124: gold coins worth two pounds each ("the man has a lot of heavy money in his bag")

      GANGNES: Note that MCCONNELL's and DANAHAY's respective accounts of a sovereign's worth are not the same as one another or as HUGHES AND GEDULD's (and STOVER's) below.

    16. The Jew

      GANGNES: The Antisemitism embodied in this figure is clear even when "Jew" is changed to "man" in the 1898 volume and subsequent editions (see the text comparison page). As STOVER (111) observes, the caricature of a greedy "eagle-faced man" would have been recognizable to Victorian readers even with the explicit word "Jew" removed.

    17. his limbs lay limp and dead

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume changes this to "his lower limbs lay limp and dead"; this clarifies why the man is able to grasp for his money even though his back is broken. See text comparison page.

    18. gold

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD: "refers to sovereigns: gold coins worth one English pound each."

      GANGNES: Note that HUGHES AND GEDULD's account of a sovereign's worth is not the same as MCCONNELL's or DANAHAY's above. STOVER (157) agrees with HUGHES AND GEDULD.

    19. 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.

    20. 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.

    21. Waltham Abbey

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 234: "a small town on the river Lea, in southwest Essex, bordering Epping Forest. In the 1890s there was an old gunpowder factory in the area."

      GANGNES: about 15 miles to the east and slightly north of Edgware

    22. Southend and Shoeburyness

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: "Fully named Southend-on-Sea. A resort town in southeast Essex at the mouth of the Thames, thirty-three miles east of central London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: "Shoebury or Shoeburyness [is] a coastal town at the mouth of the Thames, just east of Southend and thirty-eight miles east of London."

      GANGNES: Southend is about 45 miles directly east of Edgware; Shoeburyness is just slightly east of that along the coast.

    23. Deal and Broadstairs

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: Deal is "a resort town in Eastern Kent, about seven miles from Dover and sixty-eight miles east-southeast of central London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: Broadstairs is "a coastal town in northeast Kent, on the English Channel, about seventy miles east-southeast of central London."

      GANGNES: Deal is slightly south of Broadstairs.

    24. six million people

      GANGNES: In the Pearson's Chapter XIV, the number of Londoners is written as "five million"; it is correct here, and Chapter XIV was changed in the volume so that both would read "six million."

    25. powder

      GANGNES: gunpowder for cannons and other artillery

    26. cut every telegraph

      GANGNES: which is to say, cut the telegraph wires to make distance communication impossible

    27. 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. Installment 5 of 9 (August 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book I ("The Coming of the Martians"), Chapter XIV and part of XV of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

      This is the cover of the August 1897 issue of Pearson's Magazine:

    2. St. James’ Gazette

      From MCCONNELL: evening paper published 1880-1905

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 212: "Established in 1880, St. James's Gazette was a pro-Tory paper with features that also appealed to readers with intellectual literary interests.

      GANGNES: St. James's Gazette (Pearson's mistakenly leaves off the second "S") was a conservative daily broadsheet. It included social, political, and literary commentary, news, marriage announcements, stock market prices, and advertisements.

      Source:

    3. That was how the Sunday Sun put it, and a clever, and remarkably prompt “hand-book” article in the Referee

      From MCCONNELL 193: "Two evening papers. The Sun was published 1893-1906, the Referee 1877-1928.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 212: "The Sun, London's first popular halfpenny evening newspaper, was established in 1893 by T. P. O'Connor. A former London weekly, the Referee (founded 1877), was popular for its focus on humor, satire, sports, and theater."

      GANGNES: The Referee was a "Sunday sporting newspaper"; the Sun was a Tory newspaper.

      Source:

    4. Putney

      GANGNES: village/area on the south bank of the Thames on the way from Woking toward central London; about three-quarters of the way there

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 232: "a district of London located immediately south of the Thames, about seven miles west of the city center"

    5. Molesey

      GANGNES: village on the south bank of the Thames on the way from Woking to central London, beyond Weybridge and Walton but not quite as far as Kingston

    6. Clock Tower and the Houses of Parliament

      GANGNES: The Houses of Parliament are on the north bank of the Thames in Westminster, between Westminster Abbey and Westminster Bridge. The "Clock Tower" here is commonly referred to today as "Big Ben."

    7. Fleet Street

      GANGNES: Fleet Street is a central London road on the north side of the Thames; it becomes (the) Strand (see below) to the west. During the Victorian period it was the home of most major London periodical publishers. It is associated with the story of Sweeney Todd: the "Demon Barber of Fleet Street," who appeared in the Victorian "penny dreadful" The String of Pearls: A Romance (1846-7).

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: Fleet Street is "a famous central London thoroughfare linking Ludgate Circus and The Strand. Until 1988 it was the home of many of London's most important newspapers. During Wells's lifetime 'Fleet Street' was a term synonymous with the British press."

      More information:

    8. 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.

    9. no time to add a word of comment

      GANGNES: The newspaper editors were so eager to get the newspapers printed and sell them that they did not include any journalistic commentary or other textual commentary on the proclamation; they simply reprinted it.

    10. how ruthlessly the other contents of the paper had been hacked and taken out, to give this place

      GANGNES: The other content they would have expected this newspaper to usually contain was left out so that it could accommodate the entire proclamation in large letters.

    11. the Strand

      GANGNES: The Strand (technically just "Strand") is a road just south of Trafalgar Square (see below) and north of the Thames; it runs along to the east and then becomes Fleet Street (see above). The Strand Magazine, which published the Sherlock Holmes stories, took its name from the fact that its first publishing house was located on Southampton Street, intersecting with Strand.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 234: The Strand is "an important thoroughfare in central Lundon. It runs parallel with the Thames (a very short distance away) and extends west from the Aldwych to Trafalgar Square. It is the location of fashionable stores, hotels, theatres, and office buildings."

    12. 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.

    13. Trafalgar Square

      GANGNES: A famous square/plaza in central London, situated just to the south of the National Gallery. It features an iconic tower surrounded by four large lions. See the City of London's official page on the Square.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 234: "Central London's most famous concourse, dedicated to England's naval hero, Lord Nelson (and his victory at Trafalgar in 1805). In the center of the square there is a granite column, 145 feet tall, crowned with a statue of Nelson."

    14. Sutton High Street on a Derby Day

      GANGNES: The 1898 edition changes "Sutton" to "Epsom."

      From MCCONNELL 198: "The town of Epsom, south of London, is the annual site of the Derby."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 213: "teeming with people"; see Frith's painting "Derby Day" (1856-58) (below)

    15. Westminster to his apartments near Regent’s Park

      GANGNES: Regent's Park is a large public park in the northern part of central London. It lies north of the Thames, and it would likely take the narrator's brother a little under an hour to walk there from the south, depending on where in Westminster he is and where his apartment is situated. Wells's final home was near Regent's Park.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 232: Regent's Park is "central London's largest park, containing the London Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. It extends north from Marylebone Road to Primrose Hill; and west from Albany to Grand Union Canal."

    16. small hours

      GANGNES: early hours after midnight ("wee hours")

    17. 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."

    18. stupid

      GANGNES: In this case, not unintelligent, but rather, unaware or unknowing.

    19. parapets

      GANGNES: In this instance, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a low wall or barrier, often ornamental, placed at the edge of a platform, balcony, roof, etc. ... to prevent people from falling"

    20. 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.