Herbert George Wells was born in 1866 in London. He attended Bromley Academy, a private day school. After attending the Normal School of Science in South Kensington, he became a science teacher. At the Normal School, he studied under Thomas Henry Huxley, a famous advocate of the scientific theory of evolution.

Several early versions of The Time Machine were published in the early 1890s, but the completed novella did not appear until 1895, when Wells was 34 years old. It was the first tale of time travel, and it is considered one of the forerunners of the science fiction genre.

The Time Machine's literary influences are numerous. Most obvious is Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, written a century earlier. The Time Machine is a fusion of tales from fantastic lands, commentary on current British social questions, and an introduction to cutting-edge scientific theories.

Wells went on to publish more works of science fiction, including The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). He also published comic works of fiction such as The History of Mr. Polly (1910) and An Outline of History (1920).