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Posted 26/07/2012 14:18
Supreme Being
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I am trying to figure out what year the book is supposed to be set in. Anyone got any idea's?

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Posted 26/07/2012 14:20


Forum Administrator
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Hi there,

Do you mean the year that The War of The Worlds was set by H.G.Wells?

TWOTW team x
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Posted 26/07/2012 17:45
Supreme Being
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Yeah. I was wondering how long it will have been since "the invasion"

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Posted 27/07/2012 19:31


Martian Elder
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I think I can help with a couple of things. As a story it appears to have been written six years after the events that had transpired. There are at least two mentions of the month it takes place in, which is not August, it is, in fact, June. My personal suspision is that the year is supposed to be 1901 - BUT - this is mere speculation.

 

 


"Grotesque gleam of a time no history will ever fully describe!"

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Posted 27/07/2012 19:35
Supreme Being
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What about " in the last years of the 19th century. That would indicate the late 1800's. Maybe its 1895?

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Posted 28/07/2012 12:51


Martian Elder
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At the end of this opening paragraph 'And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.' which suggests either the invasion itself or the mindset after. There is also mention of '...no writer, up to the end of the nineteenth century...' which again points to the invasion taking place in the first decade of the twentieth century. The only problem is that we have a definative date in 1894 and a date, midnight of the 12th (August?The text I have does not say.)

Confusingly Wells says 'The storm (for which I take as a metaphor for the invasion) burst upon us six years ago now.' this is out of kilter with the later setting of June! I suppose this can be explained by the confusion of memory the narrator has, but unfortunately doesn't help with our search for the date!

Unless - journey time was longer. There is the implied suggestion that the first sign of something amiss was in 1894 but it was a further two oppositions of Mars with Earth before any cylinders were launched. At the earliest this would have taken place in 1896 (when the book was written) and I suspect journey time to be in the realms of 9months, give or take (it doesn't happen overnight!) then gives rise to a more definate 1897. However, as stated, the use of nineteenth century mindsets as past tense does give rise to the idea that the book itself is being told as recollection. So, using the information here I am going to revise my estimate of 1901 to 1897, with the month of June as being at the forefront of the action,with the cylinder's launch being in August 12th 1896 and explanation of approx.nine month journey time factored in.As for the use of twentieth century, the narrative is written in 1903, six years on and enough time to reflect on the new century and the consequence of the invasion.

Is this a good deduction?

 

 


"Grotesque gleam of a time no history will ever fully describe!"

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Posted 28/07/2012 13:02
Supreme Being
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Quite detailed

"For a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was erroneously believed that there were canals on Mars. These were a network of long straight lines that appeared in drawings of the planet Mars in the equatorial regions from 60° N. to 60° S. Lat., first observed by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli during the opposition of 1877, and confirmed by later observers. Schiaparelli called these canali, which was translated into English as "canals" (see below). The Irish astronomer Charles E. Burton made some of the earliest drawings of straight-line features on Mars, although his drawings did not match Schiaparelli's. By the early 20th century, improved astronomical observations had revealed the "canals" to be an optical illusion, and modern high resolution mapping of the Martian surface by spacecraft shows no such features"

I know that this influenced wells as this is where the idea on life on mars came from.

More importantly this - "In his 1892 work La planète Mars et ses conditions d'habitabilité, Camille Flammarion wrote about how these channels resembled man-made canals, which an intelligent race could use to redistribute water across a dying Martian world. He advocated for the existence of such inhabitants, and suggested they may be more advanced than humans."

Surely then the "invasion" would happen not to far after this as the hype would have died down. This would be the point when most people were interested in the topic (the public and scientists). If the story was based further in the future when it had been disproved then the whole story would have received a lot less attention.

Does this help our quest for dating the invasion?

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Posted 28/07/2012 13:06


Martian Elder
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Hmm.  The problem is the book was written between 1895-97 and published in 1898.  - after my revised date of invasion. 

This date is as good as it gets from me.  There is some science to it as well - in that our own means to transport to Mars (and vice versa) at best would involve at least a nine month journey time with the proplusion abilities we currently deploy.  The delivery method of transportation used by the Martians is remarkably simular, in that a projectile, namely the Cylinder(s), are launched into space and then (I supose) slingshot to Earth using perhaps the gravity of Mars or the shear force from the launch from Mars itself?

 

*EDIT* but to answer your question as stated this is told in hindsight so must be set in the Twentieth Century, with dates of 1894-1896 as a prelude to invasion launch, Aug.12th (?) as the actual launch date (and a following ten or so nights), with early June 1897 being the invasion in ernest and a four week long terror. (a week build up, then conflict - by middle of week London seized, a further 16 days or so in the ruined house, then about another week with return to London, Artilleryman re-meet in Putney and the death of the Martians, a further week or so of madness and delusion and then the Narrator's return home, in aprroximately mid to late July 1897.  Then his gathering of information and formation of novel, written in 1903, six years after events discribed. 

 

 


"Grotesque gleam of a time no history will ever fully describe!"

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Posted 28/07/2012 13:12
Supreme Being
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12 august 1896 it is then :p. Was debating doing a live tweet thing where I tweet the invasion. Just need to work the dates

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