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HG Wells

HG Wells


H.G. Wells was a Victorian author most famous for his science- fiction novels War of the Worlds and The Time Machine.  

Wells was born in 1866 in Bromley, and came from a working class background. At the age of 7, he had an accident that left him bedridden for several months. During this time, he read many books, including some by Washington Irving and Charles Dickens. After Wells's father's shop failed, his family struggled financially. He and his two brothers were apprenticed to a draper, and his mother went to work on an estate as a housekeeper. At his mother's workplace, Wells discovered the owner's extensive library. He read the works of Jonathan Swift and some of the important figures of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire. He eventually became a teacher, allowing him to continue his own studies. He then won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science where he learned about physics, chemistry, astronomy and biology, among other subjects. Wells also devoted much of his time to becoming a writer, and published a short story about time travel called The Chronic Argonauts.

In 1895, Wells became an overnight literary sensation with the publication of the novel The Time Machine. The book was about an English scientist who develops a time travel machine. While entertaining, the work also explored social and scientific topics, from class conflict to evolution. Wells continued to write what some have called scientific romances, but others consider early examples of science fiction. In quick succession, he published the The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). In addition to his fiction, Wells wrote many essays, articles and nonfiction books. In 1901, Wells published a non-fiction book called Anticipations. This collection of predictions has proved to be remarkably accurate. Wells forecasted the rise of major cities and suburbs, economic globalization, and aspects of future military conflicts.

In 1920, H.G. Wells published The Outline of History, perhaps his best selling work during his lifetime. This three-volume tome began with prehistory and followed the world's events up through World War I. Wells believed there would be another major war to follow, and included his ideas for the future. Lobbying for a type of global socialism, he suggested the creation of a single government for the entire world. Around this time, Wells also tried to advance his political ideas in the real world. He ran for Parliament as a Labour Party candidate in 1922 and 1923, but both efforts ended in failure.

Wells branched out into film in the 1930s. Traveling to Hollywood, he adapted his 1933 novel The Shape of Things to Come for the big screen. His 1936 film, called Things to Come, took audiences on a journey from the next world war into the distant future. Around this same time, Wells worked on the film version of one of his short stories, The Man Who Could Work Miracles.

He died on August 13, 1946, in London.


The too obvious fact that a large portion of animals are carnivorous neither proves nor justifies the carnivorousness of the human species.
HG Wells