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Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells: New Web Edition

I have just posted an updated version of the Web edition of H. G. Wells' classic 1895 novel, The Time Machine. This novel (actually, at around 33,000 words, it would be classed as a long novella by contemporary publishers) was originally posted at Fourmilab in 2002. The new edition updates the document to contemporary Web standards (XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS 3), and uses Unicode text entities for typographic elements such as quotes, dashes, and ellipses.

As I note in the contents page, there were many editions of this work published between 1895 and the last version revised by Wells in 1935. I have based this edition upon the latter work. If you find any errors, please send feedback, but bear in mind that if it's a quibble with words on which the author signed off, I'll go with the latter. Please don't complain about the quote marks. The 1935 edition was published in Britain. British publishers use ‘single quotes’ for the outer level of quotations and “double quotes” for quotations nested within them, while U.S. publishers use exactly the opposite convention. In this edition, I have used quote marks as the author wrote them and his publisher printed them. Because of the story's unusual narrative structure, the main long quotation is carried over from chapter to chapter without a closing quote until the Time Traveller pauses his story in chapter 7 and concludes it in chapter 12: this is as it was in the original.

This is a fine yarn, easily read in one or two sittings, which has much to say about the consequences of eliminating risk and challenges from the lives of people in developed societies. It is much better than the two Hollywood movies loosely based upon it.

Posted at June 8, 2017 23:46