Bicycles, Tricycles, and Tripods: Late Victorian Cycling and Wells’s The War of the Worlds
As evident from several of H. G. Wells’s writings from the 1890s, most notably his novel The Wheels of Chance (1896), the social, cultural, and technological changes initiated by late Victorian developments in the bicycle fascinated him. Furthermore, as his early ‘scientific romances’ like The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898) demonstrate, Wells’s interest in the bicycle was accompanied by a keen interest in the overall cultural implications of machines and of technological development in general. However, scholars have yet to comment on any larger significance of bicycles appearing so often during the devastating attack of the Martian invaders in The War of the Worlds, the work published only two years after the much more overtly and unabashedly bicycle-oriented The Wheels of Chance.
This is a manuscript of an article from, [The Wellsian: The Journal of the H.G. Wells Society, no. 36 (2013): 39-51] published by the H.G. Wells Society. Posted with permission.