This essay draws upon my PhD research, supervised by former Harvard English Literature professor Norman Bryson, on the presence of materiality and material culture in H.G. Wells’s novel The Time Machine. It is an original and unprecedented exploration of literary text, material culture and utopia. It identifies the narrative operation of the text as dependent on a concrete and believable sense of materiality, which is then mobilized to express a narrative of utopian possibility. The essay was originally given as a paper when I was invited to present at the first Ralahine Utopian Studies conference, held at the University of Limerick, 11-12 March 2005. The keynote speakers were both present at my paper and contributed to a lively exchange of ideas. The most prominent was Fredric Jameson, William A. Lane Professor of Comparative Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University. His works include The Political Unconscious (1981), and Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), and he has published extensively on utopianism. The other was Luke Gibbons, the Keough Family Chair of Irish Studies at University of Notre Dame, and author of Transformations in Irish Culture (1997), and Edmund Burke and Ireland (2003). The panel in which I took part was compiled and chaired by Tom Moylan, author of Demand the Impossible: Science Fiction and the Utopian Imagination; Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia; and numerous essays on utopia, theology, and cultural studies. He is co-editor of Not Yet: Reconsidering Ernst Bloch (with Jamie Owen Daniel); Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination (with Raffaella Baccolini); Utopia Method Vision: The Use Value of Social Dreaming (with Raffaella Baccolini). Frederic Jameson has cited the essay, (as a forthcoming work) in his most recent book Archaeologies of the Future (2005, p.51).