Tag Archives: NPR Books

Fascinating Question…

From NPR Books:

Will Your Children Inherit Your E-Books?

by   June 21, 2012

Rocket scientist Robert Goddard's Uncle Spud gave him this copy of The War of the Worlds in 1898. More than a hundred years later, it passed into the hands of essayist Amanda Katz.

In 1898, a man bought a book for his 16-year-old nephew. “Many happy retoins [sic]. Uncle Spud,” he wrote on a blank page at the front.

The book: H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, then just out in America from Harper & BrothersThe ripping tale of a Martian attack that set the mold for them all, it’s almost more striking to a reader today for its turn-of-the-century detail: carriage-horse accidents, urgent telegrams, news only via newspapers. Toward the end of the novel, the narrator gets ahold of a first post-attack copy of the Daily Mail: “I learned nothing fresh except that already in one week the examination of the Martian mechanisms had yielded astonishing results. Among other things, the article assured me what I did not believe at the time, that the ‘Secret of Flying’ was discovered.”

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