Lights are observed from Mars
01-Jun 00:01 – Tuesday
126 years ago, humanity faced the greatest threat to its existence with the Martian invasion.
Recreated through the diaries and newspapers of the time, and with the assistance of H.G. Well’s seminal work (‘The War of the Worlds’), ‘The War of the Worlds – In Real Time’ (@1897WotW) will tell the story of what really happened during that crucial month when the Earth stood on the precipice, and civilization teetered on the edge of extinction.
Welcome to HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds in Real Time. A fictionalised docudrama by: Michael Cnudde, Andrew J. Harvey, Leonie Rogers, Ken Vickery, and H.G. Wells – based on the documents, diaries, and recordings of those involved in the Martian War.
This docudrama is a work of fiction. While ‘real-world’ characters may appear, the nature of the divergent story means any depictions herein are fictionalised and in no way an indication of real events. Above all, characterisations have been developed with the primary aim of telling a compelling story.
01-Jun 00:02 #Acknowledgement
The authors respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands upon which we worked. They were our first storytellers and the creators of culture and we acknowledge their continuing connection to Country. In the spirit of Reconciliation, we pay our respect to them, their cultures, and to elders both past, present, and emerging.
Andrew, Jade, Ken, and Leonie specifically wish to acknowledge the Whadjak Noongar people of SW Western Australia, the Wanaruah of the Upper Hunter Region of New South Wales, and the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar Peoples of Western Victoria.
Michael, who lives in Toronto, wishes to acknowledge that the city is located on the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties, signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. Although hundreds of years have passed since the first treaties were signed they are still relevant, and Michael remains grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on this land, and continues to respect its first inhabitants.
01-Jun 00:04 – Tuesday
Today, June 1 1897, we meet the first of the characters through whose eyes and words we will experience the Martian invasion:
- Antoinette Louise Clark (Toni to her friends) a young medical student – one of the first of her era – who is heavily influenced by Grace Harwood Stewart, one of the first female doctors, and Millicent Fawcett, a noted suffragist
- Harry Harbord Morant, the maverick South Australia soldier who, as a result of his actions during the war, earned the personal enmity of Field Marshal Wolseley
- and of course Herbert George Wells, the socialist and author who has done so much to shape our understanding of the war.
We close with Wells observing Mars in the company of Oglivy the astronomer.
01-Jun 04:30 @HGWells
Herbert George Wells
HG Wells was the author of the seminal work The War of the Worlds in which he documents his experiences during the Martian invasion. Born in Kent, on 21 September 1866, Wells died on 13 August 1946, aged 79, at his home overlooking Regent’s Park, London.
A prolific author he wrote more than 50 novels and dozens of short stories. His non-fiction output included works of social commentary, politics, history, popular science, satire, biography and autobiography.
In addition to his fame as a writer, he was prominent in his lifetime as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works.
Wells rendered his fiction convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption per work – dubbed Wells’s Law – leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 with “O Realist of the Fantastic!”. His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), which was his first novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), and The Invisible Man (1897), before the Martian invasion turned him to chronicling the ‘War’.
Wells’s earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a Darwinian context. He was also an outspoken socialist from a young age, often (but not always) sympathising with pacifist views.
01-Jun 05:00 @HGWells
One of the most famous quotes regarding the Martian invasion was by HG Wells who begins his history of ‘The War of the Worlds’ as follows:
‘No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that human affairs were being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s. Yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to our own, drew their plans against us”
01-Jun 09:30 @HGWells
Hearing of lights observed on Mars, Ogilvy, the astronomer, invites the author HG Wells to take a turn that night at the telescope. Wells is later to document the following month in his seminal work: “The War of the Worlds”.
01-Jun 10:00 @ToniWantsToVote
Antoinette Louise Clark
The Martian Landing of 1897, or as we now know it, the War of the Worlds, involved many people, including Antionette Louise Clark, whose contemporary was the brother of the renowned HG Wells himself. #WOTW #Martians
Antoinette (Toni to her friends) was a young medical student – one of the first of her era – heavily influenced by Grace Harwood Stewart, one of the first female doctors, and Millicent Fawcett, a noted suffragist #wedemandthevote
She was challenged by Wells’ brother, to keep a diary entirely in telegram style for a month. Despite the challenges, she kept the style throughout the Martian invasion. #memories
Her diary entries have been translated to current ‘text/tweet’ speak, for which telegram style was a forerunner, for ease of reading for the modern reader, since words such as Naloopen, or Empanel, are not in current usage. #technologyforthewin
Unsurprisingly, her twitter handle turns out to be @ToniWantsToVote, and her diary is a treasure trove of insight into the post invasion changes to society. She also sent some of her telegrams – we shall leave you to decide which ones #wedemandthevote #ihavepocketsinmytrousers
01-Jun 10:15 @ToniWantsToVote
The first entry in Toni’s diary for June concerns her excitement at meeting Elizabeth Cadbury the previous night at a meeting of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies.
Met @lizcadbury last night at #NUWSS meeting last night. Totes excited! #WeDemandTheVote! #buyCadburychocolate
01-Jun 10:30 @BreakerMorant
Harry Harbord Morant
While researching the life of Marie Curie for this project, with the assistance of the Curie Museum in Paris, I found in her personal papers the diary of a fortune fighter called Breaker Morant. Marie Curie had written inside the front cover:
“This rapscallion saved my life during the Martian invasion.”
There were also letters to Morant stored in the diary from the editor of the Australian newspaper The Bulletin. It appears from the letters that these diary notes were being kept for poems and stories to be written for the paper (Morant having received commissions for other work). No evidence exists of publications from these notes, however, Morant’s diary required little editing other than the removal of some the language he has used which reflects the unconscious racism of his time, the replacement of initials with a name when he refers to an individual, and the addition of an occasional footnote to clarify the events he is describing.
Morant emigrated to Australia from England in 1883. A year after his arrival, Morant settled in outback Queensland where he adopted the name, Harry Harbord Morant, claiming to be a member of the British nobility and the estranged son of Admiral Morant. He drifted around Queensland, South Australia, and New South Wales for 15 years, earning a reputation as a boozer, womaniser, bush poet, and expert horseman.
Morant worked various occupations, reportedly trading horses in Charters Towers, and in 1884 working for a newspaper at Hughenden, before finding work as a bookkeeper and storeman at the Esmeralda cattle station. It was here he met Arthur James Vogan, who was researching a book and helped him prepare his “Slave Map of Modern Australia”, which showed the locations of slavery and massacres of the first nation people.
Morant then worked for several years as an itinerant drover and horse-breaker. He also wrote popular bush ballads and became friendly with famed Australian bush poets Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, and Will H. Ogilvie.
In 1896, Morant and his droving partner George Brown enlisted with the Second Contingent of the South Australian Mounted Rifles in Adelaide. Brown was Aboriginal-Scot, and avoided the ban on Aboriginals by claiming he was Italian to explain away the colour of his skin.
Morant was invited to visit the summer residence of South Australia’s governor, Lord Tennyson. This meeting must have gone well because he was appointed lance corporal at the end of his training.
At this time, Vogal published his novel ‘Black Police’, which documented the callous slaughter of indigenous Australians by the Queensland Native Police. Pilloried for releasing this book Vogal lost his job writing for a newspaper. Morant convinced his friend to join his brick of four soldiers in Adelaide.
Military records show that both Brown and Vogan were in Morant’s brick when their regiment was selected to participate as part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The regiment embarked for London on 26 January 1897 and arrived in time to experience the Martian invasion.
01-Jun 10:35 @BreakerMorant
Vogan thanked me again for putting him onto this Lark.
01-Jun 17:00 @ToniWantsToVote
Hope @hgwellsbro doesn’t forget the lecture on x-rays tomorrow! He promised to be the subject for the practical portion. #goodundiesessential #roentgenrules
01-Jun 17:30 @ToniWantsToVote
@millifawcett gave me her visiting card. Fangirling right now. #WeDemandTheVote!
01-Jun 18:00 #LatestNews #Balkans
It was not only Toni, most people were concerned with issues closer to home than Mars. The #GrecoTurkishWar had only finished in May, and the attention of many were still focussed on the Balkans, and the possibility of a fresh outbreak of hostilities.
The “Daily Chronicle” for example, led with the following headline on 1 June 1897: “Bulgarian Independence to be Declared”
The “Daily Chronicle” Brussels correspondent reporting that “The Independence Belge” attaches some importance to the announcement of a rumour from its Constantinople correspondent that Prince Ferdinand will shortly assume the title: King of Bulgaria.
The report states that the Porte would offer no serious conversion of the principality to a kingdom.
01-Jun 20:00 @BreakerMorant
I was better received with my reading of HL’s The Grog-an’-Grumble Steeplechase than Vogan was, reading from his novel Black Police but he wasn’t tarred and feathered, which is better than he got in Australia.
01-Jun 21:21 @HGWells
Observing Mars that Tuesday night with Oglivy, Wells later writes: “I saw the little, round planet swimming in space, while invisible to me, drawing nearer every minute came the Thing they were sending us.”
01-Jun 23:59 @HGWells
As Oglivy prepares to close the observatory Wells observes a reddish flash at the edge of the planet Mars, the slightest projection of the outline, just as the chronometer strikes midnight.