The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1894 to 1899

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. 




   The Barbarous Britishers—A Tip-Top Novel
by H.D. Traill
First publication: 1896

Some might claim that Grant Allen’s 1895 novel The British Barbarians was higher on the social lecturing scale than Robert Heinlein with a nubile young woman; most likely, Henry Duff Traill, biographer and worthy forebear of Monty Python, would claim so if his funny send-off of Allen’s book is any indication.

 It was a case of the angels tumbling to the daughters of men. He saw at the first sight that she was a woman to be desired, a soul high-throned, very calm and dignified, yet scrumptious withal. Like the angels, he tumbled to her, and, falling from so great a height, was instantly mashed. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Plattner Story” by H.G. Wells, New Review, Apr 1896 [4D spacial topology ]

Georges Montbard's illustration of Hyne’s story in Windsor

   “The Oldest Worship in the World: A Restoration”
by Cutcliffe Hyne
First publication: The Windsor Magazine, Nov 1897

A man on Minorea takes an unknown powder in his drink and finds himself traveling back through various wars, sieges and pirate attacks, eventually landing in a time of a prehistoric clan whose king sacrafices men to his heavenly beings.

Windsor was a far-reaching British magazine with short fiction and serials from all genres, interviews, science and other articles (such as Walter George Bell’s article about asteroids in the Nov 1897 issue), wonderful illustrations, and even photographs.

 A thought seized me that by virtue of the powder I had grown backward through all the lifetimes of men, and was alone on the island with nothing but the brutes and the birds. 


interior illustration from the first publication

   “The Man Who Could Work Miracles”
by H.G. Wells
First publication: The Illustrated London News, special summer number, 1898

When George McWhirter Fotheringay discovers that he can work miracles by sheer force of will, the results are wont to bring unexpected consequences, leading to one final miracle that invokes time travel.

 As he struggled to get his shirt over his head, he was struck with a brilliant idea. “Let me be in bed,” he said, and found himself so. “Undressed,’ he stipulated; and, finding the sheets cold, added hastily, ’and in my nightshirt—ho, in a nice soft woolen nightshirt. Ah!” he said with immense enjoyment. “And now let me be comfortably asleep . . .” 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
Dix mille ans dans un bloc de glace by Louis Boussenard [long sleep ]
English title: 10,000 Years in a Block of Ice

“The Hour Glass” by Robert Barr, San Francisco Call, 15 May 1898 [ghost story ]

Lawerence Lek’s vision of Jarry’s machine

   “Commentaire pour servir à la construction pratique de la machine à explorer le temps”
English title: How to Construct a Time Machine (translated from French)
by Alfred Jarry (as by Dr. Faustroll)
First publication: Mercure de France, Feb 1899

Inspired by Wells, Jarry’s fictional Dr. Faustroll tells exactly what’s needed to build a time machine of your very own.

 Space and Time are commensurable. To explore the universe by seeking knowledge of points in Space can be accomplished only through Time; and in order to measure Time quantita tively, we refer to Space intervals on the dial of a chronometer. Space and Time, being of the same nature, may be conceived of as different physical states of the same substance, or as differ ent modes of motion. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells [long sleep ]
aka The Sleeper Awakes

“The Conversion of the Professor: A Tale of the Fourth Dimension” by George Griffith, Pearson’s, May 1899 [despite title, no time travel ]

 


13 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)