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Twentieth Centruy Novelist

Portait of H.G. Wells

When and Where was H.G. Wells Born?

21st September 1866, Bromley, Kent, England.

Family Background:

Herbert George Wells was the son of an unsuccessful tradesman. His mother was a Housekeeper at Uppark House in West Sussex from 1880 to 1892


Local schools. Apprenticed to a draper.

Chronology/Biography of H.G. Wells:

1883: Disliked being a draper and became a pupil-teacher at Midhurst Grammar school. He won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science, South Kensington, London, where his biology teacher was T. E. Huxley. As a consequence he became interested in evolution. He founded and edited the "Science Scholar Magazine."

1887: Left the School without graduating. He spent the next few years teaching and writing.

1890: Passed his BSc examinations.

1895: H.G. Wells finally established himself as a novelist with "The Time Machine".

1896: Published "The Island of Doctor Moreau."

1897: Wells was gaining a reputation as a science fiction writer in the United States and wrote for the magazine "Cosmopolitan".

1898: Published "The war of the Worlds".

1900: Wrote "The First Man in the Moon" for "Cosmopolitan".

1901: He began to write works about politics, technology and the future in a non-fiction form.

1902: Published "The Discovery of the Future" which impressed member of the Fabian Society such as George Bernard Shaw and Wells himself became a member. Wells felt that it should not just be a debating society but should be a pressure group fighting for social change. Although many other members resisted him he became a member of the Fabian Society's Executive Committee and tried to change the group.

1908: He was forced to resign from the Fabian Society but continued being active witinh Socialism.

1912: Goes to live with the novelist Rebecca West.

1914: Although he was horrified by the outbreak of the First World War he supported Britain's involvement unlike many of his other socialist colleagues.

1917: H.G. Wells was impressed by the Revolution in Russia.

1920: By now he had actually visited Russia himself and become disillusioned and published "The Outlines of History" which held that mankind could only survive by education rather than by revolution.

1922: "The Outlines" was published in an abridged format as "A Short History of the World" and Wells became a famous and well read political writer throughout the rest of the 1920's and 1930's. He contributed widely to the newspapers and magazines of the day.

1933: Published a novel "The Shape of Things to Come" in which he described a world that had been devastated but which was being rebuilt along humanist lines. Many socialists dismissed his work of this period as elitist.

1934: H.G. Wells made visits to the Soviet Union and the United States.

1939: A longtime supporter of the League of Nations after the First World War Wells was appalled by the beginning of the Second World War.

1946: He was still writing about the appalling effects of the Atomic Bomb when he died.

Written Works:

1895: "The Time Machine".
1896: "The Island of Doctor Moreau". "The Wheels of Chance".
1897: "The Invisible Man". "The Plattner Story".
1898: "The War of the Worlds".
1899: "When the Sleeper Wakes".
1900: "Love and Mr Lewisham".
1901: "The First Men in the Moon".
1904: "The Food of the Gods".
1905: "Kipps". "A Modern Utopia".
1908: "The War in the Air".
1910: "The History of Mr. Polly".
1911: "The Country of the Blind". "The New Machiavelli".
1916: "Mr. Britling Sees it Through".
1917: "God the Invisible King".
1920: "The Outline of History".
1923: "Men Like Gods".
1926: "The World of William Clissold".
1933: "The Shape of Things to Come".
1934: "An Experiment in Autobiography".
1945: "Mind at the End of its Tether".


1. 1891 to his cousin Isabel Wells.
2. 1895 to Amy Katherine (Jane) Robbins.
3. 1912 Lives with but does not marry Rebecca West.

Places of Interest:


The British Library

When and Where Did he Die?

13th August 1946, London, England.

Age at Death:


Site of Grave:

Funeral at Golder's Green Crematorium. Ashes scattered from an aircraft.

Further Information:

H G Wells Society
c/o JR Hammond
49 Beching Thorpe Drive
NG13 0DN

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