Herbert George Wells - Biography
H. G. Wells (1866-1946) or Herbert George Wells was a historian and novelist. He was also one of the most preeminent writers of science fiction. Wells is perhaps most famous for his novel The War of the Worlds. This novel was made famous by Orson Welles’s radio adaptation (and hoax) presented in 1938.
Wells was born in Bromley, England. His father ran an unsuccessful shop that specialized in porcelain and cricket supplies. H. G. Well’s father was also a talented cricket player who earned enough money to support his family by playing cricket professionally.
Wells was a precocious child and learned to read at the age of five. At the age of seven, he was incapacitated by an accident. During his recuperation, he read Wood’s Natural History, The Bible, and The Pilgrim’s Progress.
H. G. Wells began his formal education at the Commercial Academy for Young Gentlemen. The academy was meant to train its young wards to become shopkeepers or clerks. The academy also instilled its students with a distrust of the working class—a fear that would never dissipated for Wells.
In 1880 when H. G. Wells was fourteen, he relocated to Wookey, Somerset, to help a relative run a school as a pupil-teacher. Wells and his relative were removed from the school when it came to light that his relative’s teaching credentials were faked.
With five pounds in his possession, H. G. Wells moved to London in 1888. He made some money by writing about science in the weekly new papers. In 1889, the Henley House School hired Wells as a teacher. Wells taught the poet A. A. Milne (whose father ran the school.) During this time, H. G. Wells was studying at London University. In 1890, he was awarded his B.Sc. in Zoology. He received his degree with honors.
Following his graduation, H. G. Wells had an income substantial enough to marry and to rent a house. Shortly after the marriage, Wells began a long series of infidelities. This was also the period when he began writing essays and sketches for journals, including the Pall Mall Gazette. In 1893, he started an affair with a former student. This particular affair ended his marriage.
In 1895, Wells’s The Time Traveler’s Story published as The Chronic Argonauts was serialized in the New Review. The Saturday Review and the Pall Mall Gazette put H. G. Wells to work as a literary and theater critic. His early forays into this field were guided by some advice given by George Bernard Shaw.
H. G. Wells continued his prodigious writing career. The Island of Doctor Moreau was the first of his books to be considered controversial. Some readers took offense at cruelties depicted in this tale of animals transformed into near humans. The Guardian condemned the work as an attempt "to parody the work of the Creator of the human race, and cast contempt upon the dealings of God with his creatures."
Despite this controversy, H. G. Wells was able to become financially secure. This security allowed Wells and his new wife to construct Spade House in the vicinity of Folkestone. Wells still desired success outside of the Science Fiction genre. His more realistic novels drew from his experience to such a degree that it approached vulgarity. In 1905, Wells’s achieved success with a realistic fiction with the publication of Kipps.
At the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, H. G. Wells began to envision an elite and utopic world governed by “New Republicans.” He envisioned these political elites as having the power to subdue the underclass. When he traveled to the United States, he found a receptive audience for his worldview.
Between the wars, H. G. Wells traveled to France. Creatively, he moved away from considering himself a creative writer, desiring to return to journalism. In 1933, Wells returned to London. He refused to flee the Blitz and continued to live in the city until his death. Diabetes weakened his body; he died in 1946.
The fiction books of H. G. Wells include The Time Machine, The Wonderful Visit, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Wheels of Chance, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, When the Sleeper Wakes, Love and Mr Lewisham, The First Men in the Moon, The Sea Lady, The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth, Kipps, A Modern Utopia, In the Days of the Comet, The War in the Air, Tono-Bungay, Ann Veronica, The History of Mr Polly, The New Machiavelli, Marriage, The Passionate Friends, The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman, The World Set Free, Bealby: A Holiday, The Research Magnificent, Mr Britling Sees It Through, The Soul of a Bishop, Joan and Peter: A Story of an Education, The Undying Fire, The Secret Places of the Heart, Men Like Gods, The Dream, Christina Alberta's Father, The World of William Clissold, Meanwhile, Mr Blettsworthy on Rampole Island, The King Who Was a King, The Autocracy of Mr Parham, The Bulpington of Blup , The Shape of Things to Come, The Croquet Player, Brynhild, Star Begotten, The Camford Visitation, Apropos of Dolores, The Brothers, The Holy Terror, Babes in the Darkling Wood, All Aboard for Ararat, and You Can't Be Too Careful.
The Non-Fiction books of H. G. Wells include Honours Physiography – with R. A. Gregory, Text-Book of Biology/Zoology, Certain Personal Matters, Mankind in the Making, The Future in America, This Misery of Boots, Will Socialism Destroy the Home? , First and Last Things, Floor Games, The Great State, Little Wars, New Worlds for Old, The War That Will End War, An Englishman Looks at the World, The War and Socialism, The Peace of the World, What is Coming? /, God the Invisible King, War and the Future (aka Italy, France and Britain at War) , Introduction to Nocturne, In the Fourth Year, The Idea of a League of Nations – with Viscount Edward Grey, Lionel Curtis, William Archer, H. Wickham Steed, A. E. Zimmern, J. A. Spender, Viscount Bryce and Gilbert Murray, The Way to the League of Nations – with Viscount Edward Grey, Lionel Curtis, William Archer, H. Wickham Steed, A. E. Zimmern, J. A. Spender, Viscount Bryce and Gilbert Murray, The Outline of History, Russia in the Shadows, Frank Swinnerton – with Arnold Bennett, Grant Overton, The Salvaging of Civilization, A Short History of the World, Washington and the Hope of Peace (aka "Washington and the Riddle of Peace"), Socialism and the Scientific Motive, The Story of a Great Schoolmaster: Being a Plain Account of the Life and Ideas of Sanderson of Oundle, A Year of Prophesying, A Short History of Mankind, Wells' Social Anticipations, The Way the World is Going, The Book of Catherine Wells, The Open Conspiracy (aka What Are We To Do With Our Lives?) , The Science of Life (1930) – with Julian S. Huxley, G. P. Wells, Divorce as I See It, Points of View, The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind, The New Russia , After Democracy, An Experiment in Autobiography, The New America: The New World, The Anatomy of Frustration, World Brain, The Fate of Homo Sapiens (aka The Fate Of Man) , The New World Order, Travels of a Republican Radical in Search of Hot Water, The Common Sense of War and Peace, The Rights of Man, The Pocket History of the World, Guide to the New World, The Outlook for Homo Sapiens, The Conquest of Time, Modern Russian and English Revolutionaries – with Lev Uspensky, Phoenix: A Summary of the Inescapable Conditions of World Reorganization, Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church, '42 to '44: A Contemporary Memoir, Reshaping Man's Heritage – with J. B. S. Haldane, Julian S. Huxley, The Happy Turning , Mind at the End of its Tether, and Marxism vs Liberalism – with J. V. Stalin.