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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

Education:

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".

Marriage:

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:

LONDON:

The British Library

When and Where Did he Die?

13th August 1946, London, England.

Age at Death:

80.

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
Bottesford
Nottingham
NG13 0DN

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