H. G. Wells

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Wells, H. G.

(Herbert George Wells), 1866–1946, English author. Although he is probably best remembered for his works of science fiction, he was also an imaginative social thinker, working assiduously to remove all vestiges of Victorian social, moral, and religious attitudes from 20th-century life. He was apprenticed to a draper at 14 and was later able through grants and scholarships to attend the Univ. of London (grad. 1888). Inspired by the teaching of T. H. HuxleyHuxley, Thomas Henry,
1825–95, English biologist and educator, grad. Charing Cross Hospital, 1845. Huxley gave up his own biological research to become an influential scientific publicist and was the principal exponent of Darwinism in England.
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, Wells taught biology until 1893, when he began his career as a novelist. Extremely prolific, he was to write more than 100 books. His early novels and best-known books, the so-called scientific romances, are works of science fiction, full of fantasy and fascinating pseudoscientific speculations, and exemplifying the political and social beliefs of his time. They include The Time Machine (1895), The Wonderful Visit (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).

In the novels of his middle period Wells turned from the fantastic to the realistic, delineating with great energy and color the world he lived in. These books, considered his finest achievement, include Kipps (1905), Tono-Bungay (1909), Ann Veronica (1909), The History of Mr. Polly (1910), and Mr. Britling Sees It Through (1916). His later books are primarily novels of ideas in which he sets forth his view of the plans and concessions individuals must make in order to survive. Included among these final works, which became increasingly pessimistic as Wells aged, are The World of William Clissold (1926), The Shape of Things to Come (1933), World Brain (1938), and Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945). His other works include the immensely popular Outline of History (1920) and The Science of Life (1929), which was written in collaboration with his son G. P. Wells and Julian Huxley.


See his Experiment in Autobiography (1934); biographies by L. Dickson (1969), N. and J. MacKenzie (1973), and M. Sherborne (2010); studies by F. McConnell (1981), J. Huntington (1982), J. R. Hammond (1988), and D. Smith (1988).

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References in periodicals archive ?
brought to BBC Dave Ogden, Eldon Grove." Damien Timmer, Mammoth Screen's managing director said: "It's a great honour to bring H.G. Wells's masterpiece to BBC One.
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At the academy, which featured such lecturers as Marie Curie, H.G. Wells, Albert Einstein, and Jose Ortega y Gasset, Varo became familiar with new ideas: the theories of Sigmund Freud, which broadened the boundaries of reality, the work of Andre Breton, which defined surrealism as a literary and artistic movement.
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Smith's H.G. Wells on Film is a reference work covering "every theatrically released film from 1909 to 1997 (both credited and unaccredited) based on the writings of H.G.
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Inge, Charles Raven, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells. The catholic, yet modernist theologies of people like Charles Gore and William Temple are covered as are the reactions of popular writers such as Hilaire Belloc and C.S.
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Mumba, who is promoting her new film The Time Machine based on the H.G. Wells sci-fi classic, said that Bono rang her up out of the blue at the beginning of last year.