Each man turned to fire

Each man turned to fire

Warwick Goble

Photomechanical reproduction of a watercolour

5½ x 4 inches

H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, serialized in Pearson’s Magazine, 3 (Jan – June 1897): 489.

‘It was as if some invisible jet impinged upon them and flashed into white flame. It was as if each man were suddenly and momentarily turned to fire’ (3:488–9). Wells’s terrifying description of the heat-ray is brilliantly encapsulated in the fluid movement of light in Goble’s design as the characters flail around in agony. The heavily impasto of the white also infuses the scene with a modernist, expressionistic intensity.

Click on image to enlarge it

Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]