The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells 1898 - William Heinemann, London - First Edition, First Issue with advertisements dated 1897 ‘Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

Truly an influential masterpiece of science fiction by the man widely considered as the father of the genre.

The book was begotten by a remark of my brother Frank (to whom the novel is dedicated). We were walking together through some particularly peaceful Surrey scenery. 'Suppose some beings from another planet were to drop out of the sky suddenly', said he, 'and began laying about them here!' . That was the point of departure . And the value of the story to me lies in this, that from first to last there is nothing in it that is impossible".
  H. G. Wells after failing an apprenticeship as a draper, became a teacher (one of his students being A. A. Milne) he then won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science (now Imperial College, London).

The book was an immediate success, helped no doubt by the growing threat of invasion by the powers gathering strength across the English Channel, combined with the observations of the planet Mars. Predicting robotics, world wars, warfare tactics including aerial bombing, tanks and chemical weapons, and nuclear power. Wells also seems to have taken great pleasure in the fictional devastation of locations where he had spent an unhappy childhood.

Provenance: William Homer Ames [1876-1944], with his pictorial bookplate. Later, Larry McMurtry with his iconic bookplate modelled on the brand his father used on cattle.

First edition in book form, first issue with William Heinemann’s sixteen page Autumn Announcement dated 1897, to rear.
Reference: Wells 14. Currey, 426. Hammond B5. Bleiler 205. Bleiler
Fantastic Literature 282

Octavo pp. viii 303 [1] 16 publisher’s
Autumn Announcements mdcccxcvii. In publisher’s grey cloth, lettered in black to spine and front panel.
  Condition: Very good, some toning to spine, 2mm loss to head and tail, light wear to edges, some cracking to inner hinges. Fold to front free endpaper.   Ref: 107424   Price: HK$ 16,000