I am reading 'The Invisible Man' by H.G.Wells and there is this scene.

Griffin(the invisible man) broke in Dr.Kemp's house and they met. After Griffin finally made Kemp understood that he is actually an acquaintance of him from the university, Griffin asked for food and Kemp got it for him. As Griffin started eating the food he said:

"I always like to get something about me before I eat, Queer fancy!"

In this sentence, what does "Get something about me," mean? In fact, I'm not sure about "Queer fancy," either. Yet, I assumed that it would mean "It is queer of me." Would that be right?

I add some more, extracted from the book:

"Invisible!" said Kemp, and sat down on a bedroom chair. "I always like to get something about me before I eat," said the Invisible Man, with a full mouth, eating greedily. "Queer fancy!" "I suppose that wrist is all right," said Kemp. "Trust me," said the Invisible Man. "Of all the strange and wonderful—" "Exactly. But it's odd I should blunder into your house to get my bandaging. My first stroke of luck! Anyhow I meant to sleep in this house to-night. You must stand that!"

  • With no further context, it sounds to me like he’s saying he usually prefers to put on clothes before eating, but that’s not exactly a strange preference, so it likely means something else here. With no more specific context, though, it’s hard to tell. Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 9:16
  • Actually, having found the passage on Google Books, it seems the invisible man indeed did not have any clothes until Kemp got him a dressing gown and some socks. So it seems it really does just refer to putting on clothes here. “Queer fancy” is presumably just sarcastic, then (or perhaps not sarcastic specifically because he’s invisible—it doesn’t really matter whether he’s wearing clothes or not, nobody can tell the difference; but he still wants to wear clothes just because). Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 9:20
  • I added some more from the book, then you have already googled it. Thanks.
    – Kim
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 9:26
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: I think your idea in parentheses is right. It might seem a "queer" (strange) fantasy to someone else, who cannot see whether the invisible man is clothed or not; hence for them, there's no need for him to wear clothes. But for the IM himself, he needs to feel clothing around him to be comfortable when he eats. Phew.
    – Margana
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


It would mostly mean that he'd like to be clothed or wrapped up in some garb,like in this case the bandage.My take is that either he is averse to seeing the food's naked passage through him or maybe seeing himself manifest by the presence of an article or cloth on him while eating psychologically comforts him.

  • A good point on the food's "naked passage" +1
    – Margana
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 10:59

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