1897. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION of the FIRST APPEARANCE of H. G. WELLS’ “War of the Worlds”: COMPLETE ORIGINAL JOURNAL ISSUE SERIALIZATION WITH ALL 22 CHAPTERS – THIS PRECEDING THE 1898 PULICATION OF THE BOOK BY ONE YEAR. It is unusual for all chapters of this serialization to be offered together. The individual issues in which this serialized story appeared have been bound together; the issues are complete, inclusive of the first page of each issue as well as the frontispiece. The Cosmopolitan publication offered here ran concurrently with its serialization in the British magazine Pearson’s. Wells’ serialization is famously accompanied by the fantastical illustrations of Warick Goble, a well-known late 19th, early 20th century artist. Both publications appeared the year before the book of the same title was published.
“H.G. Wells' tales of Martian invasion, never-before-seen beings, time travel, and alien invasion disturbed the public by combining journalistic sensationalism, scientific fantasy, suburban mundanity and fears of invasion… The attitude towards science among the 19th-century intellectual elite was one of amusement. The subject was believed to be slightly remote – as vulgar and inessential as the technology of underground trains, telephones and internal-combustion engines. There was always a little man for such things, an oily-fingered mechanic. ‘In those days,’ wrote Ford Madox Ford in 1909, ‘no one bothered his head about Science. It seemed to be an agreeable parlour-game – like stamp-collecting'.
“Herbert George Wells astonished this elite, the weavers of labyrinthine paragraphs, with his boisterous energy, his ability to understand, explain and exploit the substance of the contemporary world. He had emerged from nowhere, the suburbs, without family, a failed shopboy, pupil and later teacher at Midhurst Grammar School, sickly student (on a scholarship) at the Normal School of Science, a disciple of T H Huxley, a jobbing scientific journalist” (Sinclair). Of the serialization Wells’ himself wrote to a friend saying: "I'm doing the dearest little serial… in which I completely wreck and sack Woking — killing my neighbours in painful and eccentric ways — then proceed via Kingston and Richmond to London, which I sack, selecting South Kensington for feats of peculiar atrocity." Item #1368
CONDITION & DETAILS: Large 8vo. Beautifully rebound in half calf over marbled paper boards; five gilt-ruled bands at the spine and two spine labels, the first reading “The Cosmopolitan Apr-Dec 1897,” the second “H.G. Wells War of the Worlds Illustrated by Warwick Goble.” The binding is in fine condition: solid, bright and clean. The interior is pristine. Fine condition.