In another moment he was cut down

In another moment he was cut down

Warwick Goble

Photomechanical reproduction of a watercolour

5 x 3¼ inches

H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, serialized in Pearson’s Magazine, 4 (July–Dec 1897), 451

The Thunder Child’s success in downing of one of the tripods is dramatically shown as a swirling chaos of water, smoke and steam; however, the aliens’ retribution is simultaneously depicted as the looming shape of another war-machine fires the heat-ray at the ship, which immediately keels backwards in the water. Abstract in its depiction of an elemental struggle between fire and water, the illustration is difficult to decode, exemplifying in its physical style the confusion of the moment.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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