It was like a black worm
Photomechanical reproduction of a watercolour
4½ x 3¼ inches
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, serialized in Pearson’s Magazine, 4 (July – Dec 1897), 564.
The narrator’s terrifying close encounter with the Martians is focused on the moment when he is about to be touched by a living tentacle. Goble makes the moment both frightening – with the character recoiling into himself – and repulsive. Wells describes the proboscis as a ‘black worm’, and the artist provides exactly that, a wormy shape feeling its way around the room.
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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.
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