'So, in the end, above ground you must have the Haves, pursuing pleasure and comfort and beauty, and below ground the Have-nots, the Workers...'
At a Victorian dinner party, in Richmond, London, the Time Traveller returns to tell his extraordinary tale of mankind's future in the year 802,701 AD. It is a dystopian vision of Darwinian evolution, with humans split into an above-ground species of Eloi, and their troglodyte brothers.
The first book H. G. Wells published, The Time Machine is a scientific romance that helped invent the genre of science fiction and the time travel story. Even before its serialisation had finished in the spring of 1895, Wells had been declared 'a man of genius', and the book heralded a fifty year career of a major cultural and political controversialist. It is a sardonic rejection of Victorian ideals of progress and improvement and a detailed satirical commentary on the Decadent
culture of the 1890s.
This edition features a contextual introduction, detailed explanatory notes, and two essays Wells wrote just prior to the publication of his first book.
Roger Luckhurst has written widely on Victorian popular fiction, science fiction and Gothic literature. He has edited Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Stoker's Dracula, and an anthology of Late Victorian Gothic Tales for Oxford World's Classics, and an edition of H. P. Lovecraft's Classic Horror Stories. His books include The Mummy's Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy (Oxford, 2012).