Sarah Cole

Nov 15, 2022

On H. G. Well's "The Time Machine"

A Discussion with Sarah Cole

New Books Network 2022

When H.G. Wells was growing up in England in the 1860s, science wasn’t part of education or everyday life the way it is now. Even though the 19th century was an era of dramatic technological invention, the professionalization of science was still developing. Wells viewed science as an incredibly powerful force. He knew it could either help or hurt humanity--even with that risk, he believed society should fully embrace science. When Wells wrote his first novel, The Time Machine, in 1895, he kicked off a 50-year-long writing career. He was a pioneer in the science fiction genre, and his stories have inspired generations of audiences, artists, filmmakers, and other writers around the world. Sarah Cole is the Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Dean of Humanities at Columbia University. She is the author of Inventing Tomorrow: H.G. Wells and the Twentieth Century and At the Violet Hour: Modernism and Violence in England and Ireland, among other works. See more information on our website,

Listen to more episodes on: