H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

Keith B Williams (University of Dundee)
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The War of the Worlds (TWOTW), first serialised in Pearson's Magazine April-Dec. 1897, was published in book form by Heinemann in Jan. 1898 and has stayed in print ever since. It was Wells's fourth scientific romance and one of his most influential, imagining an attack on southern England by Martians using advanced weaponry of mass destruction and formulating the basic DNA sequence of the alien invasion genre. It played on the “Mars Fever” gripping the popular imagination in the 1890s, when, thanks to observations and theories by astronomers such as Giovanni Schiaparelli and Percival Lowell about an apparent canal system, for a time it looked as if there might be a real possibility Mars was the abode of a more advanced extra-terrestrial civilisation. Lowell's writings urged humans to…

2542 words

Citation: Williams, Keith B. "The War of the Worlds". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 June 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8092, accessed 08 December 2023.]

8092 The War of the Worlds 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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