They gibber and grow fiercer

They gibber and grow fiercer

Warwick Goble

Photomechanical reproduction of a watercolour

4½ x 3 inches

H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, serialized in Pearson’s Magazine, 4 (July–Dec 1897), 745.

Another febrile illustration depicting the narrator’s troubled memories of ‘contorted’ and ‘dog-bitten’ bodies who seem like ‘mad distortions of humanity’ (4: 745). Goble presents a Doré-like vision of Hell, apparently the spirits of the Martians’ victims: but in thinking of them as ‘distortions’ the narrator implicitly understands that the Martians are really the representatives of human destructiveness in another, symbolic forms. The Martians are the monsters inside everyone.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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