From the Public Domain Review:
H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds was first published in 1897 with illustrations by the British artist Warwick Goble. These were inky, black-and-white depictions of Wells’ story of a Martian invasion — eerie, imaginative, exciting, and thoroughly of their late Victorian time.
Three years later, The War of the Worlds was published in French, translated by Henry-D. Davray (1873–1944), an accomplished litterateur who specialized in the work of Wells, Kipling, Wilde, and Yeats. The translation was reprinted several times in the following years, but not issued with illustrations until 1906, when the Brazilian artist Henrique Alvim Corrêa took on the task.
One can see the reason for Wells’ enthusiasm. Every one of Corrêa’s illustrations bursts with imagination, eliciting fascination and terror. The post-apocalyptic landscape introducing Book One, “The Arrival of the Martians” — with its extraterrestrial tripods (looking like a cross between octopuses and water towers) and its impressive depth of field — presages not only the surrealist style of painting then brewing in Paris but the Hollywood sci-fi movies of the 1950s, with their campy mix of silliness and horror.
I’m doing something a little different this time. This is a collection of the illustrations to the 1906 French/Belgian edition of H. G. Wells “War of the Worlds”- a book I have loved since childhood and have pretty much memorized. The pictures will be presented in the order they were placed in the book. Each one- to me, anyway- brings back the particular scene or setting in Well’s masterpiece. I hope you enjoy them as well.