La Guerre des Mondes

During the past week, I stumbled on three different references to H. G. Wells’ iconic science fiction novel  The War of the Worlds, including a new French-British television  series (which was mediocre at best). The early sci-fi classic was originally published in 1897 with illustrations by the British artist Warwick Goble. These were murky, black-and-white depictions of Wells’ story of a Martian invasion of Earth.

In 1900, The War of the Worlds was published in a French edition, translated by Henry-D. Davray , who specialized in the work of Wells, Kipling, Wilde, and Yeats. This translation was reprinted several times in the following years, but not issued with illustrations until 1906, when Henrique Alvim Corrêa brought his signature style to accompany the text. The Brazilian artist was living and working in Brussels at the turn of the century and was so excited by Wells’ work that he traveled to London in 1903 and pitched his illustrations for a new French language edition directly to the author.
 Corrêa’s illustrations added a more modern, almost expressionistic touch, eliciting a foreboding terror. The post-apocalyptic landscape presaged both German and Hollywood horror and sci-fi films, as well as comic books and graphic novels.
I’ve owned a number of illustrated English language versions of War of the Worlds  over the years, but I hadn’t seen this version with Correa’s illustrations until recently.
This entry was posted in Art, Books, Europe, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to La Guerre des Mondes

  1. Kathy Lum says:

    Really great capture of the original ‘War of the Worlds’.. the illustrations are amazing.. image 2 was actually frightening!

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