The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

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The Time Machine book is a science fiction novel that was written by Herbert George Wells, or H.G. Wells (who is also the author of The Invisible Man). It was published in 1895 and was one of the first science fiction books ever published!

The Time Machine story takes place in the year 802,701AD when the human race has split into two groups. The first group is known as the Eloi, a gentle child-like group who appear to live in a utopian type of society. The other group is known as the Morlocks. They are fierce creatures who strike fear into the gentle Eloi. But things are always as they seem…

Download The Time Machine PDF to explore H.G. Wells’ dystopian vision of the future.

The Time Machine PDF

The Time Machine PDF

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Is The Time Machine PDF Book Free To Download?

Yes, it is! The Time Machine was published in 1895 so it is in the public domain. You are therefore welcome to download and read it for free! We hope you enjoy it!

The Time Machine Book Summary

The Time Traveller story begins with a narrator introducing us to an English scientist who he simply calls The Time Traveller.  They are at a weekly dinner party and the time traveler introduces the group to his theories about time travel.  He tells them about his time machine and shows them a model of the machine which he says will allow someone to successfully travel through time. 

A week later the group gets together for dinner again but the time traveler isn’t there.  As the group sits down for dinner, the time traveler suddenly appears.  He is dirty, bleeding and pale and claims that he has traveled forward in time.

The Time Traveller tells the group how, when he set out in his time machine, he managed to travel to the distant future –  802,701 AD to be exact.  There he meets a group of small, gentle, child-like humans called Eloi.  They are peaceful and live on a vegetarian diet.  They seem carefree and happy but are very afraid of the dark.  He notices that there are many beautiful buildings that have become derelict. 

As nighttime comes, the time traveler decides that he should return home to his own time but he quickly discovers that his time machine has disappeared.  Luckily he had removed the levers needed to operate the time machine so he knows that no one else would have been able to use it.  He suspects that the time machine has been taken into a huge structure that looks like a sphinx.  It has very heavy doors that are locked from the inside.

In his explorations, he finds deep wells.  He hears deep humming and the sounds of machinery coming from them and guesses that they must be some type of ventilation system for an underground facility.

The Time Traveller manages to rescue an Eloi that is drowning in a river.  Her name is Weena and she becomes devoted to helping him and she follows him everywhere.

One morning, the time traveler wakes very early and he thinks he sees white human-like creatures moving around outside.  He soon meets one face to face and sees that they have gray-red eyes with long blonde hair.  These creatures are called Morlocks.

Thinking that the Morlocks must have taken the time machine, the time traveler descends into a well that is connected to underground tunnels.  As he explores he comes across a large room where he sees some Morlocks are eating meat.  He realizes to his horror that they are eating Eloi flesh!

After narrowly escaping, he decides that over time humans mush have developed into two separate species.  The well-educated, wealthy people of his time became the kind but weak Eloi and the laborers became the Morlocks. 

He realizes that the laborers must have been forced underground to continue working and providing for the Eloi.  If they didn’t comply they risked dying of suffocation or starvation.

He realizes then that the almost utopian Eloi society didn’t result from the human’s success in building a perfect society for everyone but rather from one group building their success on the backs of another group. He also realizes that it is because the Morlocks only venture above ground at night that this is why the Eloi are so afraid of the dark.

One night, after exploring a distant building that turns out to be a museum,  the time traveler and Weena are attacked by the Morlocks. Although he manages to fight the Morlocks off, Weena dies in the attack.

In an attempt to capture the time traveler, the Morlocks open the sphinx thinking that they can use his time machine as bait.  The time traveler however manages to reattach the levers and he is narrowly able to escape.

The time traveler then travels millions of years into the future where he sees the gradual destruction of all life on earth. 

The Time Traveller then returns to his own time, having only been gone for three hours.

At the end of the book, the narrator tells how he visits the time traveler the following day and sees him preparing for another journey.  The time machine disappears with the time traveler but this time, the time traveler is never seen again.

The Time Machine Q&A

What Age Is Appropriate To Read The Time Machine?

Children from about the age of 10 enjoy the time machine but it is also a great read for teenagers and adults.

What Is The Main Message Of The Time Machine Story?

The time machine explores the effects of society’s class structures. In the story, we see how neither the Eloi, nor the Morlocks societies flourish or thrive because of their divisions. H.G. Wells tries to warn that we should dismantle class structure before humanity destroys itself.

Is The Time Machine A Good Book To Read?

The Time Machine is a good book to read. It isn’t that long and it is generally fast-paced and exciting. The book was one of the first science fiction novels ever published so if you enjoy the sci-fi genre then it is a must-read!

What Do Morlocks Look Like?

In The Time Machine, we are told that the Morlocks are descended from working-class humans who were forced to live and work underground by the wealthier humans of that time. Because they have lived underground for thousands of generations bodies have changed due to the lack of sunlight. Their eyes have become very big and have become a grey-red color. They are very sensitive to light so the Morlocks only venture above ground at night. Their skin is a dull white color and their hair has become a blonde, pale yellow color.

How Are The Eloi Described In The Time Machine?

The Eloi are small, beautiful human-like creatures that are kind and happy. They however are also described as unintelligent and weak. The book explains how they are the descendants of the human elite classes who exploited the working class to build their society.

The Time Machine Movies

Although there have been many radio adaptations of The Time Machine there have only been two movies made.

  • The Time Machine – 1960 – Directed by George Pal
  • The Time Machine – 2002 – Directed by Simon Wells (H.G. Wells’ great-grandson)

The Time Machine – 1960

The first Time Machine movie was released in 1960 and it went on to win the 1961 Academy Award for Best Effects and Special Effects.

The Time Machine – 2002

The 2002 adaptation of The Time Machine was directed by Simon Wells, the great-grandson of H.G. Wells. It received mixed reviews but did go on to be nominated for the Academy Award For Best Makeup.


The Time Machine is one of H.G. Wells’s most popular books and it has many good underlying messages about society, class and morality. It is a must-read especially if you enjoy science fiction books. Download The Time Machine PDF to explore the time travelers’ amazing adventure into the future.

Other H.G. Wells PDF eBooks:
The Invisible Man | Free PDF

More Free Classic Novels and PDF Books To Download And Enjoy:
The Great Gatsby
Jane Eyre
Pride And Prejudice
Alice In Wonderland