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H G Wells

 

Herbert George Wells English author and political philosopher, 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.

 




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