330 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2019
    1. mettle

      GANGNES: In this instance, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "a person's spirit; courage, strength of character; vigour, spiritedness, vivacity"

    2. at Staines, Hounslow, Ditton, Esher, Ockham

      GANGNES: These villages are all to the north or east of Woking and would be suitably arranged to face the crescent of Martian fighting machines.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: Hounslow is "a suburban area of Middlesex, about ten miles west of central London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 231: Ockham is "a village in Surrey, about two and a half miles southeast of Woking and five miles northwest of Guildford."

    3. make a greater Moscow

      GANGNES: MCCONNELL and HUGHES AND GEDULD seem to be at odds here about the historical significance of this reference. STOVER (147) agrees with HUGHES AND GEDULD.

      From MCCONNELL 206: "From September 2 to October 7, 1812, the French Army of Napoleon occupied Moscow, burning and destroying more than three-fourths of the city. They were finally compelled to retreat, however, due to Russian guerrilla resistance and the impossibility of acquiring adequate provisions."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 213: "To frustrate the Martians by destroying their major objective, London, as the Russians did to Napoleon in 1812 by setting fire to Moscow."

    4. Ditton and Esher

      GANGNES: villages to the northeast of Woking on the south bank of the Thames, roughly between Walton and Kingston

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: Ditton is "a small town in central Kent, about four miles northwest of Maidstone."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 229: Esher is "a small town in northeast Surrey, fifteen miles southwest of London."

    5. 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"?

    6. (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. Installment 4 of 9 (July 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book I ("The Coming of the Martians"), Chapters XII-XIII of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

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

    2. , and so I resolved to go with the artilleryman

      GANGNES: In the 1898 edition of the novel, this phrasing is changed and expanded in a way that begins to flesh out the artilleryman as a character. In the serialized version, we never see the artilleryman again after this installment, but he returns and serves a large role in the 1898 edition. See text comparison page and another note on the artilleryman farther down this page.

    3. ’luminium

      GANGNES: short for "aluminium" (British; American aluminum)

      From MCCONNELL 176: "First isolated in 1825, aluminum ... began to be produced in massive quantities only after the discovery, in 1866, of a cheap method of production by electrolysis."

    4. “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:

    5. these is vallyble

      GANGNES: A large collection of orchids would, indeed, have been quite valuable. The craze surrounding "orchid hunting"--the search for rare and beautiful orchids to collect (and/or sell to collectors)--was at its height during the late nineteenth century, to the point where the fad had a name: "orchidelirium." Some varieties would fetch extremely high prices, and wealthy Victorians sunk extreme amounts of money into their collections.

      Sources and more information:

    6. outhouse

      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."

    7. In my convulsive excitement I took no heed of the artilleryman behind me, and to this day I do not know what became of him. I never set eyes on him again.

      GANGNES: This line is cut from the 1898 version because it is no longer true. As HUGHES AND GEDULD (210) and others point out, the artilleryman becomes a major figure in the volume, featured in Chapter 7 of Book II, "The Man on Putney Hill." See See text comparison page, the earlier note about the artilleryman on this page, and the note about the artilleryman on the Installment 3 page.

    8. 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.

    9. Kingston and Richmond

      GANGNES: towns/villages on the banks of the Thames, past Halliford toward central London; Richmond farther away from Halliford than Kingston

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: "Usually called Kingston-on-Thames. A municipal borough in northeast Surrey, about nine miles southwest of central London."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 233: "a borough of greater London, on the Thames in North Surrey, about eight miles west-southwest of central London"

    10. 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.

    11. parboiled

      GANGNES: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "partially cooked by boiling"

    12. 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.

    13. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

      GANGNES: Reference to Proverbs 9:10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." This line is part of the cuts made to this installment between the serialized version and the volume. See text comparison page.

    14. 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."

    15. Sunbury

      GANGNES: North and slightly to the east of Upper Halliford, where the narrator and curate are at this point. Roughly a half-hour walk or less, depending on where in Upper Halliford and where in Sunbury-on-Thames.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 234: "a town in Middlesex, known fully as Sunbury-on-Thames, thirteen miles west-southwest of London"

    16. hide them from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne?

      From STOVER 131: reference to Revelation 6:16

      GANGNES: Note that this is the passage DANAHAY cited earlier in the curate's speech.

    1. Installment 3 of 9 (June 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book I ("The Coming of the Martians"), Chapters IX-XI of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

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

    2. a rapidly fluctuating barometer

      GANGNES: This indicates that the weather is volatile and likely heralds an imminent storm. See Oxford English Dictionary on "barometer": "an instrument for determining the weight or pressure of the atmosphere, and hence for judging of probable changes in the weather, ascertaining the height of an ascent, etc" and Encyclopaedia Britannica entry.

    3. close

      GANGNES: In this usage, according to the Oxford English Dictionary: "of the atmosphere or weather: Like that of a closed up room; confined, stifling, without free circulation"

    4. 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."

    5. stereotyped formula

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "something continued or constantly repeated without change; a stereotyped phrase, formula, etc.; stereotyped diction or usage."

    6. belligerent

      GANGNES: In this case, according to the Oxford English Dictionary: "waging or carrying on regular recognized war; actually engaged in hostilities," which is to say, the narrator is imagining, and is excited about, an epic war between the British and the Martians.

    7. 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.

    8. Addlestone

      GANGNES: village to the north and slightly east of Woking

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: "a village in Surrey, about four miles north of Woking"

    9. tea

      GANGNES: In this case, the equivalent of dinner or an evening meal (hence it being "six in the evening"). See Oxford English Dictionary: "locally in the U.K. (esp. northern) ... a cooked evening meal"

    10. 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.

    11. 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."

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. heard midnight pealing out

      From DANAHAY 75: church bells ringing

      GANGNES: Which is to say, the church bells rang in such a way that indicated the time was midnight

    15. I gripped the reins, and we went whirling along between hedges, and emerged in a minute or so upon the open common.

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

    16. 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.

    17. in its wallowing career

      From DANAHAY 76: in its path

      GANGNES: In the 1898 edition, "wallowing" is removed.

    18. But

      GANGNES: The 1898 edition adds "That was the impression those instant flashes gave" before this sentence. See text comparison page.

    19. 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.

    20. 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.

    21. So

      GANGNES: The 1898 volume inserts "And in an instant it was gone." and a paragraph break before this sentence. See text comparison page.

    22. 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.

    23. The steaming air was full of a hot resinous smell.

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

    24. two or three distant

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

    25. , but I did not care to examine it

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

    26. I saw nothing unusual in my garden that night, though the gate was off its hinges, and the shrubs seemed trampled.

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

    27. 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.

    28. I felt like a rat in a corner.

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

    29. 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.

    30. The light itself came from Chobham.

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

    31. 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.

    32. I was so delighted

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

    33. torpor

      GANGNES: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "absence or suspension of motive power, activity, or feeling"

    34. Hist!

      GANGNES: an exclamation to quietly get someone's attention; similar to "Psst!"

    35. 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.

    36. I asked him a hundred questions.

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

    37. 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.

    38. 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. saw a star fall from Heaven

      GANGNES: A possible reference to, or evocation of, Lucifer as the "Morning Star" falling from Heaven. See Isaiah 14:12 and Luke 10:18. More information at the Wikipedia entry for Lucifer.

    2. Installment 2 of 9 (May 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book I ("The Coming of the Martians"), Chapters V-VIII of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

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

    3. 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.

    4. waving a white flag

      GANGNES: which is to say, signalling peace or surrender

    5. Deputation

      GANGNES: In this case, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary: "a body of persons appointed to go on a mission on behalf of another or others"

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. by the light of their destruction

      GANGNES: The narrator is only able to see the people who are burning because the fire burning on their bodies creates light.

    9. 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.

    10. Knap Hill

      GANGNES: Changed to "Knaphill" in the 1898 edition and subsequent versions.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 204 and 230: Knaphill is ~3 miles due west form Horsell Common. The distances might seem exaggerated to today's readers, but they are presented from a pedestrian's perspective.

    11. the peace of the evening

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

    12. 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.

    13. mounted

      GANGNES: riding a horse

    14. collision

      GANGNES: In this case, an attack or conflict. Stent and Ogilvy sent their telegraph before there was any sign of overt hostility from the Martians; they contacted the barracks so that the soldiers might come to the pit and protect the Martians from being attacked by humans, not the other way around.

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. ran a little boy

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

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

    20. incredible

      GANGNES: In this instance, unbelievable; the narrator is relieved that his wife believes his story about what happened to him because his neighbors did not.

    21. Times

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 205: Britain's most prestigious daily newspaper, est. 1788. By the time Wells was writing this novel its politics were mostly Liberal Unionist.

      GANGNES: The Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism lists the Times' date of establishment as 1785 rather than 1788; this discrepancy is due to the fact that it was originally titled the Daily Universal Register before its name change in 1788. In its early days it contained parliamentary reports, foreign news, and advertisements, but soon expanded its contents. Under the editorship of Thomas Barnes in the early 1800s it became a "radical force in the context of the liberalizing reforms of the early part of the [nineteenth] century. It continued to exert a radical influence under subsequent editors (including John Thaddeus Delane). The paper included reports from influential foreign correspondents who covered major European conflicts that were of interest to Britain. When Thomas Cherney became its editor in 1878 and was succeeded in 1884, the paper began to become more conservative and pro-Empire. It has changed ownership but is still published today.

      Source:

    22. Daily Telegraph

      GANGNES: See annotation on Installment 1 regarding the Telegraph.

    23. argon

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 205: "a chemically inactive, odorless, colorless, gaseous element, no. 18 on the Periodic Table of the Elements. It had just been discovered and was in the news. Wells had written it up in 'The Newly Discovered Element' and 'The Protean Gas,' Saturday Review 79 (February 9 and May 4, 1895): 183-184, 576-577."

      GANGNES: The above articles from the Saturday Review are available in scanned facsimile here ("The Newly Discovered Element") and here ("The Protean Gas").

    24. shell

      GANGNES: An artillery projectile. See Wikipedia entry) on different kinds of shells.

    25. 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:

    26. 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.

    27. love-making

      GANGNES: In this case, courting.

    28. 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."

    29. Aldershot

      GANGNES: town to the southwest of Woking

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: "Since 1855 an important garrison town in Hampshire, thirty miles southwest of London and about ten miles west of Woking, Surrey.

    30. 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)."

    31. 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. Punch

      GANGNES: Punch (1841-2002) was a weekly satirical magazine that was first marketed toward the Victorian middle class. It included text, cartoons and illustrations, and other visual features. It was characterized by a "whimsical mode of comedy that focused on the trials and aspirations of the still emergent middle classes."

      Source:

      More information:

    2. 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:

    3. Chertsey

      GANGNES: town to the north of Woking, farther than Ottershaw

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: "A small town about three miles north of Woking, Surrey."

    4. Ottershaw

      GANGNES: village to the north of Woking but south of Chertsey

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 232: "A small village about two miles north-northwest of Woking, Surrey, and about three miles form the narrator's home in Maybury. It is the location of Ogilvy's observatory."

    5. 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:

    6. Installment 1 of 9 (April 1897)

      This installment comprises the text that is roughly comparable to Book I ("The Coming of the Martians"), Chapters I-IV of the 1898 collected edition and subsequent versions.

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

    7. Cosmo Rowe (1877-1952)

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 217: In 1896 H. G. Wells and his agent attempted to get illustrations for The War of the Worlds from Cosmo Rowe, but only succeeded in securing two, both of which appeared in Pearson's and one in Cosmopolitan.

      GANGNES: Cosmo Rowe (William John Monkhouse Rowe, 1877-1952) was a British illustrator active during the late Victorian period and thereafter. He was a friend of Wells's and of designer William Morris (1834-1896).

      Rowe's illustrations for The War of the Worlds appear in the April 1897 (installment 1, first page) and May 1897 (frontispiece) issues of Pearson's Magazine; they are the only illustrations for the Pearson's War of the Worlds that were not done by Warwick Goble.

      Biographical source:

      More information:

    8. No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century

      GANGNES: Adaptations of The War of the Worlds have tended to modify their settings to match those of their main audience. To aid in establishing their time periods and locations, they open with a prologue that is similar to this one, but with several details changed to suit the adaptation.

      The 1938 RADIO DRAMA (Orson Welles, Mercury Theatre on the Air)) begins: "We know now that in the early years of the twentieth century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own. We know now that as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacence people went to and fro over the earth about their little affairs, serene in the assurance of their dominion over this small spinning fragment of solar driftwood which by chance or design man has inherited out of the dark mystery of Time and Space. Yet across an immense ethereal gulf, minds that to our minds as ours are to the beasts in the jungle, intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. In the thirty-ninth year of the twentieth century came the great disillusionment."

      The 1953 FILM ADAPTATION (Byron Haskin)) includes a bit of narration before the title that briefly discusses war technology from WWI and WWII, then begins: "No one would have believed, in the middle of the twentieth century, human affairs were being closely watched by a greater intelligence. Yet, across the gulf of space, on the planet Mars, intellects vast and unsympathetic regarded our Earth enviously, slowly and surely drawing their plans against us."

      The 2005 FILM ADAPTATION (Steven Spielberg)) begins: "No one would have believed in the early years of the twenty-first century, that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own. That as men busied themselves about their various concerns, they observed and studied. Like the way a man with a microscope might scrutinize the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro about the globe, confident of our empire over this world. Yet, across the gulf of space, intellects, vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our plant with envious eyes. And slowly and surely, drew their plans against us."

      Perhaps most interestingly, the opening lines were modified to fit a fictional setting: the DC Comics universe. The DC "Elseworlds" comic "SUPERMAN: WAR OF THE WORLDS") (1988) accommodates the existence of Krypton in this way: "No one would have believed, in the early decades of the twentieth century, that the Earth was being watched keenly and closely across the gulf of space by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own. One such older world was Mars, where minds that are to our mind as ours are to the beasts--intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic--regarded Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. Another such world, unknown alike to our earth and to the red planet... was the doomed sphere called Krypton." The narration goes on to link the fates of Earth, Mars, and Krypton to establish their similarities and draw them together under the Elseworlds Martian invasion.

    9. dreaming themselves the highest creatures in the whole vast universe

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

    10. carry warfare sunward

      GANGNES: Which is to say, invade Earth and destroy human beings; Earth is closer to the Sun than Mars is.

    11. inferior races

      GANGNES: "Inferior" as it is used here reflects Victorian conceptions of racial hierarchies. There are, of course, many, many scholarly works on this subject, but here are a few good places to start:

    12. Perrotin, of the Nice Observatory

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 199: Nice Observatory was "France's most important nineteenth-century observatory." It was constructed in 1880 on Mt. Gros, northeast of Nice. It used a 30" refracting telescope.

      From MCCONNELL 126: Henri Joseph Anastase Perrotin (1845-1904) was a French astronomer who worked at the Nice Observatory 1880-1904.

      GANGNES: The 1898 edition adds a reference to Lick Observatory (in California), which the narrator says noticed the light before Perrotin did.

      More information:

    13. 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:

    14. Daily Telegraph

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 200: The Daily Telegraph was established in 1855 and to this day is still one of Britain's foremost national newspapers.

      From MCCONNELL 127: The Daily Telegraph (founded 1855) catered to the middle class; it featured "flamboyant, often sensational journalism."

      GANGNES: Contrary to MCCONNELL, the Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism writes that the Daily Telegraph (1855-present; founded as the Daily Telegraph and Courier) originally catered to a "wealthy, educated readership" rather than the middle class. Though it became associated with Toryism in the twentieth century, its politics in the nineteenth century were first aligned with the Whigs, especially in its liberal attitude toward foreign policy. This changed somewhat in the 1870s when it supported Benjamin Disraeli, and the paper became more Orientalist under the editorship of Edwin Arnold. The Telegraph also promoted the arts.

      Source:

    15. 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.

    16. 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:

    17. 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:

    18. 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:

    19. For in those days there was no terror for men among the stars.

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

    20. Isleworth

      GANGNES: to the northeast of Woking, a little over halfway between Woking and central London

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: "Residential district of greater London, just east of Kew Gardens, about eight miles west-southwest of the center of the city."

    21. Winchester

      GANGNES: city near the south coast of England; Woking lies to the northeast midway between Winchester and London

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 235: "A city in southern England, in Hampshire, about sixty miles southwest of London. Famous for its Cathedral (founded 1079) and its public school (Britain's oldest)."

    22. French windows

      GANGNES: tall windows that open out as glass double-doors

    23. Woking

      GANGNES: the town in which the first Martian cylinder lands and the first part of the narrative action takes place; the narrator lives in the area

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 235: "A town in Surrey, about four miles north of Guildford and twenty-three miles southwest of central London."

    24. Berkshire, Surrey, and Middlesex

      From DANAHAY 47: contiguous English counties

      GANGNES: Most of the novel takes place in Surrey and central London.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 227: Berkshire is "a county of southern England bordered by Oxford and Buckingham (on the north), Gloucester (on the northwest), Hampshire (on the south), Surrey (on the southeast), and Wiltshire (on the west)."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 234: Surrey is "a county of southern England bordered by Buckingham, Middlesex, and London (on the north), Berkshire (on the northwest), Kent (on the east), Hampshire (on the west), and Sussex (on the southwest). It is drained by the rivers Thames, Wey, and Mole."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 231: Middlesex is "a major residential district that forms a sizeable part of London's metropolitan area. It borders Essex and London (on the east), Surrey (on the south), Hertford (on the north), and Buckingham (on the west)."

    25. Weybridge

      GANGNES: a town to the northeast of Woking, between Woking and London

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 235: "a north Surrey town about four miles northeast of Woking and seventeen miles southwest of central London"

    26. dull radiation

      GANGNES: the heat radiating from the cylinder (not harmful/nuclear radiation)

    27. public house

      GANGNES: British "pubs"/bars

    28. 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:

    29. telegraph the news

      GANGNES: The kind of electrical telegraphy with which Wells's readers would have been familiar began development in the early-to-mid nineteenth century and was commonly used by the end of the Victorian period.

      More information:

    30. 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.

    31. “Extra-terrestrial”

      GANGNES: This term was relatively new when Wells wrote the novel; it first emerged in the mid-nineteenth century and was generally used in scientific journals.

      Source:

    32. 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.

    33. 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

    34. Chobham Road

      GANGNES: road leading to Chobham from Woking

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: "a thoroughfare bordering the north side of Horsell Common, located about a mile and a half north of Woking, Surrey"

    35. A big greyish rounded bulk, the size perhaps of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully out of the cylinder.

      GANGNES: Visual depictions of Wells's Martians, like those of their fighting-machines, have varied widely. Part of this is due to the fact that, even though they are described at length, the narrator still has difficulty wrapping his head around how to relate their appearance to terrestrial creatures. Most depictions resemble something squidlike, but Spielberg's 2005 film) extrapolates from the tripod machines and gives the Martians three appendages.

      More information:

    36. 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.

    37. 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.

    38. I could not avert my face from these things

      GANGNES: A reference to the irresistible quality of Gorgons; see note on "Gorgon" above.

    39. road from Chobham or Woking

      GANGNES: southeast of Chobham or north from Woking