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Wells Herbert

The Holy Terror

Genre: history, publicism
Every person, place and thing in this story—even the countries in which it happens—are fictitious, and any resemblance, though it runs to the pitch of identical names and circumstances, is at most a realistic device and free of any libellous intention whatever. It is an imagination about everyone and nobody, about everyland and nowhere, justified by the Lives of Suetonius and our present discontents. Maybe it is life-like, that is the incurable ambition of the novelist, he will not disavow it; but if so it is because its characters have come alive. Their motives run about in our world also, and it is our problems with which they wrestle in their distinct and perhaps simpler but similar world. The England, the America, the London in this book are not the England, America and London of geography and journalism, but England, America and London transposed into imaginative narrative. The tampering of J. W. Dunne with popular ideas of space and time is having its influence upon fiction. So far as the writer may judge his own story, it seems to begin on earth somewhere in the nineteen-twenties, but it goes on and on unrestrainedly, into the years to come. The writer has let that happen, he calls your attention to it to prepare your mind for it, but he offers no explanation or apology.
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