The Dream


H. G. Wells

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Tonight, we’ll read the opening to “The Dream” a 1924 novel by H. G. Wells about a man from a Utopian future who dreams the entire life of a 19th century Englishman named Harry Mortimer Smith.

In circa 4,000 A.D., a biologist named Sarnac is taking a holiday among mountains and lakes with his lover, Sunray. With four other holiday travellers, they visit some 2,000-year-old "ancient remains that had recently been excavated" in a nearby valley. A little later, after a brief afternoon nap, Sarnac awakens from "a very vivid dream." The rest of the novel consists of Sarnac's recounting of the dream, with occasional discussion of its particulars with his companions. Sarnac's dream brings with it total recall of the complete life of Harry Mortimer Smith, from the point of view of the achieved Utopia of 2,000 years later.