Its something that was brought home to me when i attempted to create accurate versions of things from the book.
Lets have an example - the Martians themselves.
"A big greyish bulk, the size perhaps of a bear". Okay, so its, what?, about 8 or 9 feet long and a sort of grey.
"... the head of the thing, was rounded and had, one might say, a face. There was a mouth under the eyes, the lipless brim of which quivered..." So it has a head??? Not so much a bulk then George. This is something that artists have never depicted, preferring to go instead with a rounded lump with a face on the end. Even HG drew them like that.
"two luminous discs - like eyes" Notice the hyphen. they're not eyes like discs but discs like eyes. Not eyes at all then.
"a mouth with a lipless brim". So no lips.
But a little later on we have "pointed upper lip" and "wedge-like lower lip". So it DOES have lips!
There's more thoughout the book like this and, as i say, its quite difficult to try and get everything as described. I had a go though and this is my attempt.