The Time Machine was first published in 1894 as a serial under the name The Time Traveller in the National Observer. It was brought out as a book the next year under its current name and sold more than six thousand copies in a few months. H. G. Wells was just twenty-seven-years-old when the story, which came to be called a "scientific romance," was published. Wells's friend, William Henley, edited the National Observer, and Wells became part of a group of writers called "Henley's young men." The novel's appeal lies in its attempt to fathom what will become of human beings in the distant future. By making the central character of his story a time traveler who can transport himself back and forth in time with the aid of a machine he invented, Wells is able to explore many of the themes that obsessed him, including class inequality, evolution, and the relationship between science and society. In describing the future world of the effete Eloi and the cannibalistic Morlocks and the world beyond that in which all semblance of human life has been erased, Wells illustrates what he believes may very well be the fate of humanity. The novel's enduring popularity is evident in the three films adapted from the novel and the scores of others inspired by it.
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