66 votes
Accepted

Did H. G. Wells use an emoticon in “The Time Machine”?

TL;DR: The colon is a typographical error, not an early emoticon. One way to investigate this kind of question is to use full-text search on a suitable corpus. For example, we could search the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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20 votes

Origin of “Good books are the warehouses of ideas”, attributed to H. G. Wells on commemorative £2 coin?

TL;DR: It’s a typographical error: for “ideas” read “ideals”! “Ideals!” said my uncle; “certainly Ideals. Of course one must have ideals, else life would be bare materialism. Bare fact alone, naked ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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12 votes

What is so special about a fruit being in season for eight days?

He's not necessarily suggesting there's anything special about it being in season for 8 days. The sentence that you quote is part of the time traveller describing day-to-day life in the world of the ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
8 votes

At what time did the time travel journey begin?

The ten o'clock and the four o'clock are presumably referring to two different events. The first event occurred at ten o'clock when the Time Traveller used the machine for the first time. As described ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 3,419
8 votes
Accepted

What do these expressions mean in H.G. Wells's novel Kipps?

These are references to the condition of homelessness. THE KEY OF THE STREET IT is commonly asserted, and as commonly believed, that there are seventy thousand persons in London who rise every ...
Spagirl's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

What does H. G. Wells mean by "He had added to exceptional business 'push', bankruptcy under the old dispensation, and judicious matrimony."?

You should parse this as bankruptcy under the old dispensation and judicious matrimony were added to business "push". Judicious matrimony probably means he married somebody with lots of money — i.e.,...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

What does H. G. Wells means by "Subject Races" in The War in the Air?

In a nutshell, "subject races" means people of colour who were subjects of the British Empire. Wells uses the term ironically. There is a passage near the beginning of Chapter 4 that makes ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 4,170
6 votes

In Kipps, what does H. G. Wells mean by "colonial meat by contract at threepence a pound"?

On February 15, 1882, the Dunedin finally set sail for Britain. She was loaded with 4,331 mutton, 598 lamb and 22 pig carcasses, 250 kegs of butter, hare, pheasant, turkey, chicken and 2,226 sheep ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19k
5 votes
Accepted

How can the moon be in the first quarter and in the new moon phase on the same night in H. G. Well's "The Invisible Man?

The Invisible Man does contain some chronological inconsistencies. From the opening paragraphs of the article "A Tissue of Moonshine: the Mechanics of Deception in The Sea Lady" by B.D. ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Could the War of the Worlds be considered a proto Cosmic Horror story?

It's impossible to answer a question like this with a definitive no, and it's an interesting notion, but it seems unlikely. For starters, Lovecraft was never shy of naming his inspirations. "It is ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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5 votes

What is the meaning of this sentence by H.G. Wells about a "liberal heathen deity"?

The key to extracting the true meaning of this sentence is the word "demi-john", which means a large bottle commonly used for alcohol: Given this context, it seems that the "liberal ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
4 votes

What do these expressions mean in H.G. Wells's novel Kipps?

Looking in Eric Partridge’s dictionary of slang, I find, for “the swap”: have or get the swap or swop. To be dismissed from employment: from before 1890. Barrere & Leland. Eric Partridge (1939). ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Was the N.I.C.E. director modelled on H. G. Wells?

In answering this question, I cannot do better than to quote the analysis of David Lake: I will now prove that ‘Jules’ must be taken as Wells, and no-one else. There are at least nine points of ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 56.1k
4 votes
Accepted

What does H. G. Wells mean by "ha'penny longcloth to sell, he put it thus to startled customers: 'Can DO you one, six half if y' like."?

Not a native either but I'll hazard a guess. he wanted to say he had a sixpenny- ha'penny longcloth to sell, he put it thus to startled customers: "Can DO you one, six half if y' like." So, he ...
tum_'s user avatar
  • 1,150
3 votes
Accepted

What did H. G. Wells mean by "Manifestly their line lay straight along the lane to the sea"?

The Hurons are a native American nation. In context, it seems that Kipps and his friends have been accustomed to play at being Hurons: He set himself to whistle a peculiarly penetrating arrangement ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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3 votes

What is the implication about humans in general at the end of "The Island of Doctor Moreau"?

The implication seems to be that humans are not as different from the grotesque Beast Folk as we would like to think. Most good works of speculative fiction are really saying something about the real ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
3 votes

What does “world outlook” mean in this context?

The word "outlook" has several meanings, but the ones that are most relevant here are the third and fourth meaning in Wiktionary: An attitude or point of view. Expectation for the future. ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Considering the similarities between H.G. Wells’ Kipps and Charles Dickens’ Pip can we draw a conclusion regarding parallels between the works?

You use the tag yet you avoid the term intertextuality in your writing. There is little in literature and in the practise of criticism or analysis that is "immutable" and amounts to being &...
henryflower's user avatar
  • 1,036
2 votes

Did H. G. Wells use an emoticon in “The Time Machine”?

The colon introduces a new clause (e.g. for cause and affect), and the closing parenthesis just happens to be there. This same combination of : followed by `) occurs several times in other literature. ...
Brian Minton's user avatar
1 vote

Origin of “Good books are the warehouses of ideas”, attributed to H. G. Wells on commemorative £2 coin?

War of the words: HG Wells coin also features false quote The new coin is inscribed: ‘Good books are warehouses of ideas’ – but digging reveals the quote to be both wrong and expressing a different ...
Pat Dobson's user avatar
  • 1,873

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