The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1890 to 1895

I’ve yet to find an image of the book, but here’s a Christchurch church where Watson was a minister (lostchristchurch.org.nz).

   The Decline and Fall of the British Empire,
or The Witch’s Cavern

aka The Witch’s Cavern. A Realistic and Thrilling Picture of London Society
by Henry Crocker Marriott Watson
First publication: 1890

William Furley, an Australian in 2992, describes the fallen state of the British Empire and then travels to England where he meets a version of Alice’s White Rabbit and falls down a hole to 1890 London where he tries to warn people about the coming collapse.


No Time Travel.
Move along.
A.D. 2000 by Alvarado M. Fuller [long sleep ]
aka Back to Life (A.D. 2000): A Thrilling Novel

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, The San Francisco Examiner, 13 Jul 1890 [just a dream ]
aka “A Dead Man’s Dream”



   “Christmas Every Day”
by W.D. Howells
First publication: Christmas Every Day and Other Stories, 1892

A papa tells his little girl about another little girl who asks the Christmas Fairy to make it Christmas every day. She gets her wish, but is it time travel? Probably not in this case since they all continue to live through the year with December 26 being Christmas and Dec 27 being Christmas and December 28 being Christmas . . . And yet, I want to put this story in the Big Boys’ time travel list (rather than the promising-but-not-time-travel list) simple because Howells’ story was the 19th century departure point for so many other repeating-holiday stories a century later.

 After a while turkeys got to be awfully scarce, selling for about a thousand dollars apiece. They got to passing off almost anything for turkeys—even half-grown hummingbirds. And cranberries—well they asked a diamond apiece for cranberries. All the woods and orchards were cut down for Christmas trees. After a while they had to make Christmas trees out of rags. But there were plenty of rags, because people got so poor, buying presents for one another, that they couldn't get any new clothes, and they just wore their old ones to tatters. They got so poor that everybody had to go to the poorhouse, except the confectioners, and the storekeepers, and the book-sellers, and they all got so rich and proud that they would hardly wait upon a person when he came to buy. It was perfectly shameful! 




   “The Green Door”
by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
First publication: 1893

Young Letitia Hopkins, ungrateful orphaned and living with her great-great-aunt, is told to never even think about going through the little green door at the back of the house—a door that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere because there no egress on the outside where the door should come out. So, of course (this being a proper morality tale), Letitia does go through the door first chance she gets, and finds herself among Injuns and her own ancestors.

I’ve seen many references to the 1910 release of The Green Door in a slim volume (Illus. in color. Moffat Yard. 75 cents net.), but a 1911 review in the New York Times indicates that the story was first published “in a periodical some eighteen years ago.” I haven’t tracked down what that periodical was, so for now I’ll just list the story as being from 1893. I see that the story also appeared a few years later in the Times itself (13 Apr 1896). The wilkinsfreeman.org site lists the 1896 publication as the first, but that contradicts the later Times review.

 It seemed awful, and impossible, but the little green door led into the past, and Letitia Hopkins was visiting her great-great-great-grandfather and grandmother, great-great-grandmother, and her great-great-aunts. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“John Bartine’s Watch” by Ambrose Bierce, Can Such Things Be?, 1893 [ghost story ]

“The Damned Thing” by Ambrose Bierce, New York Town Topics, 7 Dec 1893 [supernatural story ]

The essays were reprinted in this 1975 scholarly work edited by Robert Philmus and David Y. Hughes.

   The National Observer Essays
by H.G. Wells (as by Anonymous)
First story: 17 Mar 1894 - 23 Jun 1894

After his first fictional foray into time travel (“The Chronic Argonauts”), Wells anonymously published a series of seven fictionalized essays in The National Observer that contained the genesis of what was to come.
  1. Time Travelling: Possibility or Paradox? (17 Mar 1894)  
  2. The Time Machine (24 Mar 1894)  
  3. The Sunset of Mankind (28 Mar 1894)  
  4. The Refinement of Humanity: A.D. 12,203 (21 Apr 1894)  
  5. A.D. 12,203: A Glimpse of the Future (31 Apr 1894)  
  6. In the Underworld (19 May 1894)  
  7. The Time Traveller Returns (23 Jun 1894)  

 ‘Possibly not,’ said the Philosophical Inventor. ‘But now you begin to see the object of my investigations into the geometry of four dimensions. I have a vague inkling of a machine—’ 




   “The Demoiselle D’Ys”
by Robert W. Chambers
First publication: The King in Yellow, 1895

Philip, an American who becomes lost hiking in Brittany, finds himself in the company of the winsome young Jeanne who hunts on the moors and speaks the old French language of falconry that nowadays is found only in yellowed manuscripts.

 Suddenly a splendid hound dashed out of the mist in front, followed by another and another until half-a-dozen or more were bounding and leaping around the girl beside me. She caressed and quieted them with her gloved hand, speaking to them in quaint terms which I remembered to have seen in old French manuscripts. 




   The Time Machine
aka The Time Machine: An Invention
by H.G. Wells
First publication: New Review, Jan-May 1895



In which the Traveller first introduces us to his machine.

 I drew a breath, set my teeth, gripped the starting lever with both hands, and went off with a thud. 


H.G. Wells, Master Traveller

In 1919, my Grandpa Main cited H.G. Wells as the inaugural recipient of the Master Traveller Citation recognizing innovative writers for their contributions to time travel.





   The British Barbarians—A Hill-Top Novel
by Grant Allen
First publication: 1895

Bertram Ingledow, anthropologist from the future, comes to 19th century England to study the ways and rituals of the Englishman and at least one Englishwoman, the desirable Freda Monteith.

 As once the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and straightaway coveted them, even so Bertram Ingledew looked on Freda Monteith and saw at the first glance she was a woman to be desired, a soul high throned, very calm and beautiful. 


 


11 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)