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SCIENCE FICTION CLASSIC
 

H.G. Wells: First edition of The Time MachineWELLS, H.G.  

The Time Machine

“He, I know—for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made—thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilization only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end. If that is so, it remains for us to live as though it were not so.”

FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE of H.G. Well’s first novel; one of the foundational works of science fiction.

“‘The Chronic Argonauts’, the early version of The Time Machine published in the Science Schools Journal (April–June 1888), was a stilted performance in the manner of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.” Years later, “encouraged by W. E. Henley, [Wells] recast his time-travelling tale first as a series of newspaper prophecies and then as the haunting adventure story which appeared in book form in 1895. ‘It's my trump card’, he wrote to his friend Elizabeth Healey, ‘& if it does not come off very much I shall know my place for the rest of my career’ (Correspondence, 1.226). The Time Machine won instant acclaim” and launched Wells’s literary career (DNB). Today, The Time Machine is recognized as arguably the most influential of all early science fiction novels. Note: A corrupted American edition (which Wells later disavowed) appeared in the same month, possible preceding the London printing, but the London edition is the definitive text and the preferred first edition.


London: William Heinemann, 1895. Octavo, original cloth; custom half-leather box. First issue, with 16pp. of ads at rear. One corner fraying, a trifle of wear to spine, cloth exceptionally clean. Rare in this condition. $6000.

Science/Technology/Medicine

Literature/Modern Firsts

Americana/History/Travel

Art/Illustrated/Children's