His depiction of suburban late Victorian culture in the novel was an accurate reflection of his own experiences at the time of writing. In the late 19th Century the British Empire was the predominant colonial and naval power on the globe, making its domestic heart a poignant and terrifying starting point for an invasion by Martians with their own imperialist agenda. He also drew upon a common fear which had emerged in the years approaching the turn of the century, known at the time as fin de siècle or 'end of the age', which anticipated apocalypse at midnight on the last day of 1899.
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