Each man turned to fire
Photomechanical reproduction of a watercolour
5½ x 4 inches
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, serialized in Pearson’s Magazine, 3 (Jan – June 1897): 489.
‘It was as if some invisible jet impinged upon them and flashed into white flame. It was as if each man were suddenly and momentarily turned to fire’ (3:488–9). Wells’s terrifying description of the heat-ray is brilliantly encapsulated in the fluid movement of light in Goble’s design as the characters flail around in agony. The heavily impasto of the white also infuses the scene with a modernist, expressionistic intensity.
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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.
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