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English Literature   >   H. G. Wells: The War of the Worlds

Wells' Working Context

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H. G. Wells: The War of the Worlds

In this course, Dr Steve McLean explores H. G. Wells' 1898 novel The War of the Worlds. We begin by thinking about Wells' literary career, focusing in particular on his work as a scientific journalist as well as his interest in the social and political issues of the day. After that, we think about how the novel engages with contemporary theories about the possibility of extra-terrestrial life and the ethics of imperialism. In the third module, we think about the theme of anthropocentrism in the novel, before turning in the fourth module to Well's presentation of war and warfare and how this relates to issues of narration and narrative reliability. In the fifth module, we explore the theme of evolution in the novel (focusing in particular on the ethics of evolution) before moving on in the sixth and final module to consider Wells' engagement with contemporary debates about science and religion – especially the theory of natural selection.

Wells' Working Context

In this module, we think about Wells' literary career, looking beyond the scientific romances for which he is most famous (The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, etc.) to consider his other writings, as well as his interest in (and knowledge of) the scientific currents of the day.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McLean, S. (2018, August 15). H. G. Wells: The War of the Worlds - Wells' Working Context [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McLean, S. "H. G. Wells: The War of the Worlds – Wells' Working Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Dr Steven McLean

Dr Steven McLean

Independent Scholar