HG Wells




Herbert George Wells English author and political philososopher,
most famous for his science-fantasy novels with their prophetic
depictions of the triumphs of technology as well as the horrors
of 20th-century warfare. Wells was born September 21, 1866, in
Bromley, Kent, and educated at the Normal School of Science in
London, to which he won a scholarship. He worked as a draper\'s
apprentice, bookkeeper, tutor, and journalist until 1895, when he
became a full- time writer. Wells\'s 10-year relationship with
Rebecca West produced a son, Anthony West, in 1914. In the next
50 years he produced more than 80 books. His novel The Time
Machine mingled science, adventure, and political comment. Later
works in this genre are The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds,
and The Shape of Things to Come; each of these fantasies was made
into a motion picture. Wells also wrote novels devoted to
character delineation. Among these are Kipps and The History of
Mr. Polly, which depict members of the lower middle class and
their aspirations. Both recall the world of Wells\'s youth; the
first tells the story of a struggling teacher, the second
portrays a draper\'s assistant. Many of Wells\'s other books can be
categorized as thesis novels. Among these are Ann Veronica,
promoting women\'s rights; Tono-Bungay, attacking irresponsible
capitalists; and Mr. Britling Sees It Through, depicting the
average Englishman\'s reaction to war. After World War I Wells
wrote an immensely popular historical work, The Outline of
History. Throughout his long life Wells was deeply concerned with
and wrote voluminously about the survival of contemporary
society. For a time he was a member of the Fabian Society. He
envisioned a utopia in which the vast and frightening material
forces available to modern men and women would be rationally
controlled for progress and for the equal good of all. His later
works were increasingly pessimistic. \'42 to \'44 castigated most
world leaders of the period; Mind at the End of Its Tether
expressed the author\'s doubts about the ability of humankind to
survive. He also wrote An Experiment in Autobiography. Wells died
August 13, 1946, in London.