151 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2019
    1. 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:

    2. putrescent

      From MCCONNELL 286: "growing rotten or decayed"

      From DANAHAY 179: rotting

    3. Samson

      From MCCONNELL 286: "The incredibly strong, unruly hero of Jewish folklore whose exploits are celebrated in Judges 13:1-16:31. Taken prisoner by the Philistines, he destroyed himself and them by pulling down the walls of their palace."

    4. redoubt

      From MCCONNELL 288: fortification

      From DANAHAY 181: "a fort put up before a battle to protect troops and artillery"

    5. putrefactive

      From MCCONNELL 288: "causing decay or rottenness"

    6. destruction of Sennacherib

      From MCCONNELL 289: "'The Destruction of Sennacherib' is the title of one of the most famous poems of Lord Byron (1788-1824). In II Kings: 19 it is related how the Assyrian King Sennacherib brought a great army to war against the Israelites; but, thanks to the prayers of the Israelites, the Lord killed Sennacherib's whole army in a single night. The legend has an obvious relevance to the sudden, total, and unhoped-for obliteration of the Martian invaders."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 224: "In a single night, in answer to the prayers of the Israelites, God destroyed the Assyrian army led by King Sennacherib (II Kings 19:35-37). This is the subject of Byron's celebrated poem 'the Destruction of Sennacherib'."

      From DANAHAY 182: "reference to II Kings: 19 in which an entire army is wiped out by God in one night"

    7. 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.

    8. in conjunction

      From MCCONNELL 298: "At conjunction, the Earth and Mars are on opposite sides of the Sun."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 225: "Mars and Earth are in (superior) conjunction, and farthest from each other, when they are lined up with the sun between them; they are in opposition, and closest to each other, when they are lined up with Earth between Mars and the sun."

      From DANAHAY 189: "It is far away from earth, but will be 'in opposition' again."

    1. tympanic surface

      From MCCONNELL 244: "Like the tympanum, the vibrating membrane of the middle ear."

      From DANAHAY 143: "A tympan is a drum, so the Martian skin here is like a drum."

    2. silicious

      From MCCONNELL 245: "growing in silica-rich soil, crystalline"

      From DANAHAY 145: "crystalline, made of silica or sand"

    3. fresh water polyp

      From MCCONNELL 246: "a sedentary marine animal with a fixed base like a plant, and sensitive tendrils (palp) around its mouth with which it snares its prey"

      From DANAHAY 145: "a sedentary type of animal form characterized by a more or less fixed base, columnar body, and free end with mouth and tentacles"

    4. Tunicates

      From MCCONNELL 246: "marine animals with saclike bodies and two protruding openings for the ingestion and expulsion of water (their means of locomotion)"

      From STOVER 190: "The Tunicates ... are Sea Squirts, belonging to the Urchordata, a subphylum of chordata or 'vertebrated animals [to which they are] first cousins.'"

      From DANAHAY 146: "a subspecies of sea animals that have saclike bodies and minimal digestive systems"

    5. Lilienthal soaring machines

      From MCCONNELL 249: "Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), German engineer, was the chief developer of glider flight."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 219: "German engineer Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) was one of the pioneers of man-bearing gliders."

      From DANAHAY 148: "gliders invented by Otto Lilienthal (1849-1896), a German engineer"

    6. The brotherhood of man! To make the best of every child that comes into the world! . . How we have wasted our brothers! . . . . . Oppressors of the poor and needy. . . .  The Wine Press of God!

      From MCCONNELL 257: "A jumble of Biblical allusions, probably the most important of which is to Isaiah 63:3, an image of apocalypse or the vengeance of God."

      From DANAHAY 155 (re just "The Wine Press of God"): See Isaiah 63:3.

    7. copper

      From MCCONNELL 258: "a very large kettle, usually made of iron; a common feature of kitchens at the turn of the century"

      From DANAHAY 155: a large kettle

    8. Woe unto this unfaithful city. Woe, woe! Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet

      From MCCONNELL 258: "another jumble of Biblical allusions, mainly to the Book of Amos in the Old Testament and to Revelation in the New."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 219: "Most of the passage is merely biblical-sounding rhetoric. 'I have been still too long' apparently echoes [Isaiah] 42:14: 'I have been still, and refrained myself.'"

    9. split ring

      From MCCONNELL 259: "a large key-ring, for keeping all the keys of a household"

    10. Briareus

      From MCCONNELL 259: "in Greek myth, a pre-Olympian giant with fifty heads and a hundred hands."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 220: "In Greek mythology Briareus was a giant with fifty heads and a hundred hands."

      From STOVER 210: "Briareus, in Greek mythology, is a giant with fifty heads and a hundred hands. The Martians' robotic Handling Machines are the multiplex hands of their guiding heads--one giant in their common purpose."

      From DANAHAY 156: "in mythology, a monster with a hundred hands"

      More information:

    11. cankering

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

    12. the City

      From MCCONNELL 283: "the area [of London] north of the Thames, from the Tower of London on the East to St. Paul's Cathedral on the west, enclosed within the original walls of London"

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 223 and 228: "On Sundays stores and businesses in the City of London are closed, and as the area is largely nonresidential, few people are to be seen." The City is "London's commercial and financial center, north of the Thames between the Temple (on the west) and Aldgate Pump (on the east). The Bank of England and the Royal Exchange are situated in The City."

      From DANAHAY 177: "the central part of London that contains many important financial and governmental buildings that would normally be closed on a Sunday"

    1. Pool of London

      From MCCONNELL 225: "the artificially enlarged shipping area of the Thames"

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 232: "Strictly speaking this refers to the stretch of the river Thames between London Bridge (on the west) and Cuckold's Point (on the east), near West India Dock. But more popularly it has come to signify the area of London below (i.e., east of) London Bridge. Fairly large sea-going vessels have access to the port of London up to this part of the Thames."

    2. lightermen

      From MCCONNELL 225: "crewmembers of a lighter, or unpowered barge used to unload cargo ships in harbor"

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 215: "sailors on or owners of lighters or barges (boats used in the 'lightening,' or unloading, of large ships)"

    3. used in automatic mines across the Midland counties

      From MCCONNELL 226: "'Automatic mines' are mines set to detonate on contact with any moving object; they are so called to distinguish them from mines exploded by electric current from shore. ... The mines are set to block the expected advance of the Martians into the counties (Leicester, Warwick, Nottinghamshire, etc.) in the middle of England."

    4. the Naze

      From MCCONNELL 227: "a promontory, north of London (in the county of Essex), extending into the North Sea"

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 230: "a promontory on the North Sea coast of Essex, about four miles south of the seaport of Harwich."

    5. fishing-smacks

      From MCCONNELL 232: smacks are "single-masted, light sailing vessels used as tenders for warships"

    6. colliers

      From MCCONNELL 227: "ships carrying coal"

    7. chaffering

      From MCCONNELL 227: haggling

    8. ram

      From MCCONNELL 228: "a warship with a heavy iron beak or prow for penetrating the hull of an enemy"

    9. Thames estuary

      From MCCONNELL 228: the point at which the river meets the sea's tide

    10. thirty-six pounds

      From MCCONNELL 228: at the time, ~$180

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 215: at least 10x the usual amount

    11. Ostend

      From MCCONNELL 228: seaport in NW Belgium

    12. bulwarks

      From MCCONNELL 229: "walls above the main deck to protect the passengers from wind and driving rain"

    13. the Crouch

      From MCCONNELL 229: "The River Crouch, south of the Naze, meets the North Sea at Foulness Point."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 228: "a river in Essex about twenty-four miles long. It flows from Brentwood to Foulness point, where it enters the North Sea."

    14. douche

      From MCCONNELL 230: a spray of water

    15. leviathan

      From MCCONNELL 230: "gigantic sea beast of Biblical legend"

      GANGNES: See various Biblical references and Wikipedia article on the Leviathan.

    16. larboard

      From MCCONNELL 231: port/left

    17. Pompeii

      From MCCONNELL 236: "the Roman city on the Bay of Naples, completely buried by the eruption of Ms. Vesuvius in 79 A.D."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 216: "The eruption of Mount Vesuvius near Naples on August 24, A.D. 79 buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum under thousands of tons of volcanic ash and lava, killing some 20,000 inhabitants."

      From DANAHAY 136: "The Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. Archaeologists found citizens of Pompeii who had been overcome by the ash from the eruption preserved where they had fallen."

      More information:

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

    20. coloured supplements

      From MCCONNELL 240: "Popular newspapers frequently issued these supplements, cheap and crude reproductions, 'suitable for framing,' of famous works of art or stirring historical scenes; they decorated the homes of many lower middle class families."

    21. 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.'"

    22. scullery

      From MCCONNELL 241: "room in which food is cleaned or cut before being taken to the kitchen for cooking; hence the most malodorous and usually the dirtiest room of the house"

    1. cumulus cloud

      From MCCONNELL 207: "A tall, dense, puffy cloud. Many readers during the First World War viewed this as a forecast of the use of poison gas."

    2. carbonic acid gas

      From MCCONNELL 207: carbon dioxide

      From STOVER 149: carbon dioxide is heavier than air; it is emitted from erupting volcanoes into the low-lying areas around them

    3. torpedo boats and destroyers

      From MCCONNELL 210: "The first British destroyer, the Havoc, was commissioned in 1893. The development of steam power in the second half of the century had revolutionized the concept of naval warfare, and put in jeopardy Britain's traditional bulwark of defense, the Royal Navy. In the growing war-fever at the end of the century, much concern was generated around what seemed to be the increased power of European navies, especially the French, and the Naval Defense Act of 1889 laid down rules for the refurbishing of the Navy similar to those which had earlier attempted to reinvigorate the Army."

    4. hansom cabs

      From MCCONNELL 212: a one-horse, two-wheeled cab for two passengers with the driver seated above and behind the cab

      From DANAHAY 116: "these were frequently for hire on the streets of London like taxis"

  2. Apr 2019
    1. five pound note

      From MCCONNELL 215: one pound = five dollars

    2. East End factory girls

      From MCCONNELL 216: "The East End of London, until well into the 1930s, was a notorious working-class slum."

    3. 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."

    4. privet hedge

      From MCCONNELL 220: European evergreen with white flowers

    5. 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."

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. balloon

      From MCCONNELL 223: "[Hot-air] Ballooning began in the late eighteenth century. It was employed for military purposes in the American Civil War, and many prophecies of the late nineteenth century envisaged the wartime use of balloons for both reconnaissance and bombardment."

    9. Goths and Huns

      From MCCONNELL 224: "The Goths were a Teutonic people who invaded and settled in the Roman Empire between the third and fifth centuries A.D. The Huns, an Asiatic people, invaded and pillaged the Empire during the fifth century A.D."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 215: "The Goths, a Germanic tribe, invaded Rome's Eastern and Western Empires during the third through the fifth century. The Huns, a nomadic Asian people, under their leader Atilla, invaded and ravaged much of Europe during the fifth century."

    10. ramifications

      From MCCONNELL 224: extensions

      From DANAHAY 127: new branches of "black smoke"

    1. 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:

    2. Sunday League

      From MCCONNELL 192: Sunday Leagues were "religious groups which gathered to protest the opening of pubs on the Sabbath"

      From DANAHAY 99: a Sunday League was a group "opposed to opening the pubs on Sundays [who] organized wholesome alternatives such as excursions"

    3. Flying Hussars

      From MCCONNELL 193: "light cavalry specializing in swift attack"

    4. 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:

    5. Foundling Hospital

      From MCCONNELL 193: "One of the first hospitals and nurseries for abandoned or illegitimate children, the Foundling Hospital was founded in 1739 in the London district of Bloomsbury."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 212: "The Founding Hospital, in Bloomsbury, London, near the British Museum, was established in 1739 by Thomas Coram. Despite its name, it was not a home for foundlings but a shelter for illegitimate children whose mothers were known."

    6. underground railway

      From MCCONNELL 194: The first "tube"/underground railway was opened in London in 1890.

    7. unnaturally early hours

      From MCCONNELL 195: "That is, the authorities are blocking off the area from which the Martian invasion comes."

    8. Salvation Army

      From MCCONNELL 195: "The Salvation Army was founded in 1878 by the Methodist minister and social worker William Booth, for the purpose of aiding the inhabitants of the terrible slums in the East End of London."

    9. reservist

      From MCCONNELL 195: "The reorganization of the British Army included an emphasis upon the reserve forces; but there was considerable doubt throughout the years before World War I whether a 'reserve' soldier would really be able to function in a battlefield situation."

      From DANAHAY 102: "somebody in the army reserve force"

    10. field guns

      From MCCONNELL 196: "heavy cannon mounted on carriages"

    11. wire guns

      From MCCONNELL 196: "Field pieces with finely-wound wire, coiled under tension, inside their barrels. An early form of rifling (introduced in 1855), the wire coil made it possible to construct a much thinner and lighter barrel than previously, and also increased greatly the effective range of the projectile. Wire guns were used extensively during the period, and in the First World War."

      From DANAHAY 103: "artillery with wire wound in the barrels that increased their power and range"

    12. quasi proclamation

      From MCCONNELL 197: "That is, an official statement which does not quite claim to be an official statement."

    13. lemon yellow gloves

      From MCCONNELL 197: these gloves were "highly fashionable, even somewhat dandified," in the late 1890s

    14. one of those old-fashioned tricycles with a small front wheel

      From MCCONNELL 198: "the 'Coventry' tricycle, two wheels with a much larger supporting wheel to one side, current around 1876"

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 213: sometimes nicknamed "Tuppence-farthing bikes" (because of their appearance)

    15. 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)

    16. walking out

      From MCCONNELL 199: courting

    17. scattered yellow gas-lamps

      From MCCONNELL 199: "The first practical electric light had been developed by Thomas Edison in 1879, but the cities of Europe and America were still lit by gas at the time of the story."

    18. selling his papers for a shilling each

      From MCCONNELL 201: "This was nearly fifty times the normal price of a newspaper."

      From DANAHAY 107: "The price of a newspaper [since earlier in the installment] has now risen from threepence to a shilling, or twelve pence."

    19. en masse

      From MCCONNELL 202: "in a body, in a crowd"

      From DANAHAY 107: "in one huge mass"

    20. ten pounds

      From MCCONNELL 202: "equivalent of fifty dollars at the time"

    21. laid their guns

      From MCCONNELL 203: "prepared to fire"

    22. ululation

      From MCCONNELL 203: "crying or moaning"

      From DANAHAY 109: "a high-pitched cry that goes up and down the scale"

    23. 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."

    24. heavy minute guns

      From MCCONNELL 206: "guns designed to fire at intervals of one minute"

    25. crammer’s biology class

      From MCCONNELL 191: "an advanced student or younger teacher who, for a fee, tutors other students in preparation for their examinations"

      From DANAHAY 98: a crammer was/is "somebody who helps students 'cram' for their exams. This was usually a graduate student or somebody with an advanced degree; Wells himself worked as a 'crammer' preparing students for science exams."

    1. battery

      From MCCONNELL 173: "four to eight guns in the Horse Artillery of the time"

    2. theodolite

      From MCCONNELL 175: "a surveying instrument with a telescopic sight, for establishing horizontal and vertical angles"

      From DANAHAY 85: "A mirror mounted on a pole, used in this situation to communicate the whereabouts of the Martians and warn the artillery of their approach."

    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. twelve-pounders

      From MCCONNELL 177: "Guns capable of firing a twelve-pound ball. Heavy artillery, like every other aspect of warfare, underwent a gigantic growth in the late nineteenth century--especially after the German munitions maker, Alfred Krupp, developed the first all-steel gun in 1851."

      From DANAHAY 86: "artillery, heavier than field guns described previously"

    5. crosses in white circles

      From MCCONNELL 178: "The insignia, then as now, of the Red Cross, founded in 1864 as a result of the Geneva Convention on international warfare."

    6. vicar

      From MCCONNELL 178: "the priest of a parish"

    7. grenadiers

      From MCCONNELL 178: "Originally, grenadiers were especially tall soldiers in a regiment employed to throw grenades. This practice was discontinued by the end of the eighteenth century, though the tallest and finest soldiers of their regiments continued to be called 'grenadiers.' After 1858, the only regiment officially referred to by the name was the Grenadier Guards, the First Regiment of the Household Cavalry."

      From DANAHAY 88: "originally 'grenade throwers,' but by this time an elite army regiment"

    8. pollard willows

      From MCCONNELL 180: "willows cut back to the trunk, so as to produce dense masses of branches"

    9. camera

      From MCCONNELL 182: "The first portable camera, the Kodak, had been patented by George Eastman in 1888. Wells himself was an ardent amateur photographer."

      From DANAHAY 91: "These were very large, box-like cameras."

    10. tidal bore

      From MCCONNELL 182: "an abrupt rise of tidal water flowing inland from the mouth of an estuary"

    11. the thing called a siren in our manufacturing towns

      From MCCONNELL 183: "The word [used in this way] was still new at the time, and referred primarily to factory whistles."

    12. towing path

      From MCCONNELL 183: "a path along the bank of a river for the horses or men who tow boats on the river"

    13. wheal

      From MCCONNELL 184: "welt or ridge"

    14. as the earthquake that destroyed Lisbon a century ago

      From MCCONNELL 185: "The Lisbon earthquake, on November 1, 1775, produced tremors felt throughout Europe, destroyed almost the entire city, and killed thirty thousand people."

      From DANAHAY 94: "Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, was almost completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1755."

    15. Sodom and Gomorrah

      From MCCONNELL 188: "In Genesis 18:20-28, the Lord sends fire from heaven to destroy the sinful people of Sodom and Gomorrah."

    16. 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."

    17. cockchafer

      From MCCONNELL 190: European scarab beetle

      From DANAHAY 97: large European flying beetle

    1. sappers

      From MCCONNELL156: "military engineers, builders of trenches, fortifications, etc."

      From DANAHAY 69: "engineers who built bridges, forts and other structures the army might need"

    2. Horse Guards

      From MCCONNELL156: "The famous 'Blues,' or Royal Horse Guards, consolidated in 1819."

      From DANAHAY 69: the Royal Horse Guards: elite British army cavalry unit

    3. fishers of men

      From MCCONNELL 156: "In Matthew 4:19 Christ tells Peter and Andrew that He will make them 'fishers of men.'"

    4. her cousins

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

    5. horse and dog-cart

      From MCCONNELL 159: "a light, two-wheeled vehicle with two seats, back to back: horse-drawn"

    6. 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."

    7. palings

      From MCCONNELL 159: fence pickets

    8. machine gun

      From MCCONNELL 160: "The period from 1890 to the First World War has been called the 'golden age' of the machine gun, and was an era of intensive development of new weapons of all sorts. ... [B]y 1898 technology had produced an amazingly wide range of designs."

    9. dog roses

      From MCCONNELL 161: "European variety of rose, with very pale red flowers"

    10. tripod

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

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

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

    12. the potteries

      From MCCONNELL 168: "A district in central England, also called the 'Five Towns,' famous for its pottery and china factories. The area was a favorite subject of Wells's friend, the novelist Arnold Bennett (1867-1931).

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 208: The "five towns" MCCONNELL refers to are Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, and Longton. In 1888 Wells spent three months in the Potteries region.

      From DANAHAY 80: "an area of central England with a large number of china factories and their furnaces"

    13. Colossi

      From MCCONNELL 169: "giant figures"

    14. 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.

    15. gun he drove had been unlimbered

      From MCCONNELL: "To 'unlimber' a gun is to detach it from its limber, a two-wheeled carriage drawn by four to six horses, and prepare it for firing."

    16. in skirmishing order

      From MCCONNELL 171: "formation for a conventional attack"

    17. Titan

      From MCCONNELL 171: "In Greek myth the Titans were the gigantic and violent pre-Olympian gods whom Zeus vanquished in establishing the rule of reason and order."

    18. 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. Inkerman barracks

      From MCCONNELL 154: "The Inkerman Barracks were named for the Battle of Inkerman, where in 1854, English and French troops defeated an attacking Prussian Army. Throughout the late nineteenth century, the armies of Europe were in the process of massive and ominous expansion and reorganization. But the British had a long-standing aversion to the idea of a standing army. Their reorganization, beginning in 1870, emphasized the localization of garrisons and short enlistment terms for civilian volunteers. In 1881 the infantry of the line was remodeled into two-battalion regiments with territorial names."

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 206: located ~2.5 miles southwest of the Horsell sand pits; ~2 miles west of Woking Station

    2. furze bush

      From MCCONNELL 143: "a spiny shrub with yellow flowers, very common throughout England and Europe"

    3. 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.

    4. hummock

      From MCCONNELL 146: "a small knoll or hill"

    5. my collar had burst away from its stud

      From MCCONNELL 148: "Collars at the time were detached from the shirt, generally made of celluloid, and fastened around the neck with a stud."

    6. erethism

      From MCCONNELL 151: "term describing an unusual state of irritability or stimulation in an organism"

    7. 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:

    8. tempering

      From MCCONNELL 151: burning/roasting

    9. dodo in the Mauritius

      From MCCONNELL 125 and 151: The dodo was a large, flightless bird from Mauritius that was hunted into extinction by the seventeenth century. This is the second of two comparisons between the extinction of the dodo and the potential extinction of humans by the Martians; the first is in Chapter I.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 205: "Later, the very idea of such a bird [as the dodo] was ridiculed ... until skeletal remains came to light in 1863 and 1889."

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

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

    11. cyclists

      From MCCONNELL 130 and 152: Cycling was extremely popular in the 1890s; the safety bicycle was first patented in 1884, but the patenting of the first pneumatic tire in 1888 made cycling comfortable and affordable. Wells was learning to ride the bicycle around the time that he wrote this novel.

    12. 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."

    13. a squadron of Hussars, two Maxims, and about four hundred men of the Cardigan regiment

      From MCCONNELL 154: "Hussars are light cavalry. The Maxim is the Maxim-Vickers, the first truly automatic machine gun, manufactured in the 1880s." The Cardigan regiment is from Cardiganshire: a county in West Wales.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 206: "The Maxim gun, patented in 1884 by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, was an early form of machine gun. After some modification it was adopted by the British Army in 1889. In the field, Maxims were usually mounted on wheeled carriages. ... The Cardigan regiment was named for Cardiganshire, a western county of Wales located between Fishguard and Aberystwyth."

    1. nebular hypothesis

      From MCCONNELL 124: the "nebular hypothesis" is Pierre Laplace's (1749-1827) theory that "the solar system originated as a single, densely compacted 'cloud' or 'nebula' of matter."

      More information:

    2. secular

      From MCCONNELL 124: ages-long

    3. oceans

      From MCCONNELL 124: The idea that there were, or might have been, oceans on Mars was due to limited telescopic technology during this time.

    4. struggle for existence

      From MCCONNELL 125: "struggle for existence" was a phrase popularized by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859).

      More information:

    5. vanished bison and the dodo

      From MCCONNELL 125 and 151: The dodo was a large, flightless bird from Mauritius that was hunted into extinction by the seventeenth century. North American bison were also thought to be on the verge of extinction during this time. This is the first of two comparisons between the extinction of the dodo and the potential extinction of humans by the Martians; the second is in Chapter VII.

      From HUGHES AND GEDULD 205: "Later, the very idea of such a bird [as the dodo] was ridiculed ... until skeletal remains came to light in 1863 and 1889."

      More information:

    6. Tasmanians

      From MCCONNELL 125: In the eighteenth century England drove native Tasmanians from their land in order to turn Tasmania into a prison colony.

      From STOVER 55-6: "The racially Australoid natives of Tasmania survived until 1876 in a state of upper paleolithic culture. To the island's Dutch and later British "colonists, they were so many subhumans hunted down for dog meat.

      More information:

    7. Schiaparelli

      From MCCONNELL 126: Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (1835-1910) was an Italian astronomer who claimed to have discovered "canals" on Mars. Schiaparelli called them canali ("channels" in Italian) but the (mis)translation of the word in to English caused speculation that the canali might have been made by intelligent life.

      From STOVER 57: Schiaparelli mapped Mars during the opposition of 1877 and provided names for some surface features still used today.

      More information:

    8. opposition of 1894

      From MCCONNELL 126: "opposition" means that Mars is at the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun; the nearest Mars gets to Earth. The opposition of 1877 was when Schiaparelli discovered the Mars canali and an American discovered Mars's moons. The opposition of 1894 allowed for further examinations of Mars.

    9. 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:

    10. 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:

    11. Lavelle of Java

      From MCCONNELL 127: Lavelle of Java is a fictional character whose name Wells derived from "M. Javelle," an associate of Perrotin's who observed a "strange light" on Mars in 1894. The evocation of Java also bears associations to the 1883 eruption of Mt. Krakatoa, which killed 50,000 people in Java.

    12. spectroscope

      From MCCONNELL 127: "With a spectroscope it is possible to describe the chemical composition of a substance by analyzing the wavelengths of the light generated by combustion of the substance. It was first demonstrated in 1860."

    13. 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:

    14. clockwork of the telescope

      From MCCONNELL 127: "The clockwork would keep the telescope rotating in synchronization with the movement of its celestial object."

    15. chronometer

      From MCCONNELL 128: a timepiece

    16. learning to ride the bicycle

      From MCCONNELL 130: Wells was also learning to ride a bicycle during this time.

    17. gas float

      From MCCONNELL 135: "a hollow tube or ball used to regulate the flow of a liquid or gas"

      From STOVER 69: "a harbor beacon erected on a floating hull containing bottled gas to fuel it"

    18. oxide

      From MCCONNELL 135: "Any chemical compound containing oxygen. The surface of the cylinder has been oxidized in the heat generated by its fall through the atmosphere."

    19. Astronomical Exchange

      From MCCONNELL 135: A fictional society; the International Astronomical Union was founded in 1919.

    20. furze bushes

      From MCCONNELL 143: "a spiny shrub with yellow flowers, very common throughout England and Europe"

    21. fungoid

      From MCCONNELL 139: fungus-like

  3. Mar 2018