H. G. Wells

H.G. Wells was one of the prolific authors from The United Kingdom, who used to write his books based on a variety of genres, including politics, history, social realism, science fiction, etc. At present, he is best remembered for the science fiction books written by him and is regarded as the father of science fiction. Two other authors are included in this club along with him and they are Hugo Gernsback and Jules Verne. Author Wells has written numerous notable works of science fiction over the course of his writing career. In his lifetime, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature for a total of 4 times. Earlier, author Wells took a specialized training in biology and his thinking on the ethical matters happened in a fundamental and specifically Darwinian context. Right from his early days, he was an outspoken socialist. The later works of author Wells became increasingly didactic and political, due to which he used to write very less science fiction. Many a times, he used to indicate on his official documents that he was a journalist by profession. Some of the initial novels that author Wells wrote described the lower middle class life and made everyone believe that he was Charles Dickens’s worthy successor. However, he did not stop only at this. He went on to try different social strata and on one occasion even attempted English society’s diagnosis as a whole. Author Wells was a diabetic himself and co-founded The Diabetic Association in the year 1934, which is known as Diabetes UK in today’s world. Author Wells was born as Herbert George Wells in Brombley, Kent, The United Kingdom. His birth took place on September 21, 1866. Wells was the youngest of the 4 children of Sarah Neal and Joseph Wells and was called as Bertie by his family members. The family of Wells had inherited and acquired a shop in which they used to sell sporting and china goods. However, it did not prosper and hardly generated any income. Wells’s father used to support the family’s income by playing professional cricket for the county team of Kent. But, that too didn’t use to serve well for the family.

When Wells was a young boy, he was involved in an accident due to which he became bedridden in 1874 with a fractured leg. As a means to pass his time, he adopted the habit of reading books that he used to get from a local library. Soon, author Wells became devoted to the worlds showed to him in the books. The interesting stories also stimulated his urge to try his hand at writing. That year, he joined the Commercial Academy, which was a private school having a curriculum focused on developing the writing skills of the students. Due to the erratic teaching method of the school, author Wells benefited a lot. Wells continued to study there until 1880. His father got injured in 1877 which ended his cricketing career. And as there was no other major source of income, the family decided to place Wells and his brothers as apprentices in different occupations. Subsequently, Wells was made to work as a draper at the Hyde’s Draper Emporium. There, he used to work for 13 hours every day and sleep along with the other apprentices in a dormitory. The experience that Wells gained at the time of this job late inspired the plots his books Kipps and The Wheels of Chance. These books portray a draper apprentice’s life as well as provide a critique of the wealth distribution of the society. In 1891, he married his cousin named Isabel Mary. Later, when he started loving one of the students named Amy Catherine Robbins, they decided to separate in the year 1894. Catherine and Wells got entered into marriage in 1895. Due to his increasing poor health, he moved to Sandgate, where he constructed his large house called Spade House in 1901. Wells continued to have affairs with many other women in his life, all with the consent of his wife. Some his affairs with fellow woman authors. Apart from writing books, author Wells was also a prolific artist. He liked to express his feelings and thoughts through his sketches and drawings. He used to often use the sketches on the title pages and endpapers of his diaries. The paintings covered a variety of topics from political commentaries to literary contemporaries as well as his romantic interests.

One of the best known books written by H.G. Wells is titled as ‘The Food of the Gods’. It was first published in the year 1904. Author Wells has introduced the main character in this book as Albert Caddles. The central theme of the plot deals with the description of the things that happen when science tends to tamper with nature. In the form of a riveting and cautionary tale, Wells has shown the disastrous results revealing the chilling science fiction story. At the beginning, a couple of scientists are shown attempting to create a new food growth agent which could have beneficial uses to the mankind. In their attempt, they discover that the spread of the material cannot be controlled. As a result, several giant rats, insects, and chickens begin to run around. The children who are given the newly food stuffs also show incredible growth as well as serious illness. As the years pass, people who consumed the treated food stuffs find that they are not able to fit themselves in the hypocritical and ignorant society. They get shut away from the traditional society for having unusual mental powers. Consequently, hatred and ignorance get increased because a distinction line gets drawn between the giants and ordinary people across the families and communities. Another riveting tale of science fiction written by Wells is in the form of the book titled ‘The War of the Worlds’. It was initially released in 1897 and then again in 2002 by the Modern Library publishers. Author Wells has described the attack on England by the Martians. The creatures from Mars arrive in big cylinders. The first cylinder arrives near Woking. Out of curiosity, a large group of people gather to witness the unearthly machine. But, the Martians come out and kill numerous humans through their Heat Ray. Further, the creatures go on to cause a lot of destruction of life and property. As the humans look totally powerless against the Martians, it seems that the world would come to an end. But, the unearthly creatures don’t reckon one factor which brings about their end on Earth and forces them to fly back to their world.

Books in order of publication:

Standalone Novels

The Time Machine(1895) 
The Wonderful Visit(1895) 
The Island of Doctor Moreau(1896) 
The Wheels of Chance(1896) 
The Invisible Man(1897) 
The War of the Worlds(1898) 
When the Sleeper Wakes(1899) 
Love and Mr. Lewisham(1900) 
Anticipations of the Reactions of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought(1901) 
The First Men in the Moon(1901) 
The Sea Lady(1902) 
The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth(1904) 
A Modern Utopia(1905) 
In the Days of the Comet(1906) 
The War in the Air(1908) 
Ann Veronica(1909) 
The History of Mr. Polly(1910) 
The Sleeper Awakes(1910) 
The New Machiavelli(1911) 
The Passionate Friends(1913) 
The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman(1914) 
The World Set Free(1914) 
Bealby: A Holiday(1915) 
The Research Magnificent(1915) 
Mr. Britling Sees It Through(1916) 
The Soul of a Bishop(1917) 
Joan and Peter: A Story of an Education(1918) 
The Undying Fire(1919) 
The Secret Places of the Heart(1922) 
Men Like Gods(1923) 
The Dream(1924) 
Christina Alberta’s Father(1925) 
The World of William Clissold(1926) 
Meanwhile The Picture of a Lady(1927) 
Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island(1928) 
The Autocracy of Mr. Parham(1928) 
The Bulpington of Blup(1930) 
The Shape of Things to Come(1933) 
The Croquet Player(1936) 
Star Begotten(1937) 
The Camford Visitation(1937) 
Apropos of Dolores(1938) 
The Brothers(1938) 
The Holy Terror(1939) 
Babes in the Darkling Wood(1940) 
All Aboard for Ararat(1940) 
You Can’t Be Too Careful(1941)
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