H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells books and biography


H. G. Wells

Born: September 21, 1866
Bromley, Kent, England
Died: August 13, 1946
London, England
Occupation(s): Novelist, Teacher, Historian,
Nationality: England England
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Influences: Politics, Darwinian Theory,

Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 – August 13, 1946), better known as H. G. Wells, was an English writer best known for such science fiction novels as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Doctor Moreau. He was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and produced works in many different genres, including contemporary novels, history, and social commentary. He was also an outspoken socialist. His later works become increasingly political and didactic, and only his early science fiction novels are widely read today. Wells, along with Hugo Gernsback and Jules Verne, is sometimes referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction".[1]



Early life

Herbert George Wells, the fourth and last child of Joseph Wells (a former domestic gardener, and at the time shopkeeper and cricketer) and his wife Sarah Neal (a former domestic servant), was born at Atlas House, 47 High Street, Bromley, in the county of Kent.[2] The family was of the impoverished lower-middle-class. An inheritance had allowed them to purchase a china shop, though they quickly realized it would never be a prosperous concern: the stock was old and worn out, the location poor. They managed to earn a meagre income, but little of it came from the shop. Joseph sold cricket bats and balls and other equipment at the matches he played at, and received an unsteady amount of money from the matches, since at that time there were no professional cricketers, and payment for skilled bowlers and batters came from voluntary donations afterwards, or from small payments from the clubs where matches were played.

A defining incident of young Wells's life is said to be an accident he had in 1874, when he was seven years old, which left him bedridden with a broken leg. To pass the time he started reading, and soon became devoted to the other worlds and lives to which books gave him access; they also stimulated his desire to write. Later that year he entered Thomas Morley's Commercial Academy, a private school founded in 1849 following the bankruptcy of Morley's earlier school. The teaching was erratic, the curriculum mostly focused, Wells later said, on producing copperplate handwriting and doing the sort of sums useful to tradesmen. Wells continued at Morley's Academy until 1880. In 1877 another accident had affected his life, when his father, Joseph Wells, fractured his thigh. The accident effectively put an end to Joseph's career as a cricketer, and his earnings as a shopkeeper were not enough to compensate for the loss.

No longer able to support themselves financially, the family instead sought to place their boys as apprentices to various professions. From 1881 to 1883 Wells had an unhappy apprenticeship as a draper at the Southsea Drapery Emporium. His experiences were later used as inspiration for his novels The Wheels of Chance and Kipps, which describe the life of a draper's apprentice as well as being a critique of the world's distribution of wealth.

Wells's mother and father had never got along with one another particularly well (she was a Protestant, he a free thinker), and when she went back to work as a ladies maid (at Uppark, a country house in Sussex) one of the conditions of work was that she would not have space for husband or children; thereafter, she and Joseph lived separate lives, though they never divorced and neither ever developed any other liaison. Wells not only failed at being a draper, he also failed as a chemist's assistant and had bad experiences as a teaching assistant, and each time he would arrive at Uppark - "the bad shilling back again!" as he said - and stay there until a fresh start could be arranged for him. Fortunately for Wells, Uppark had a magnificent library in which he immersed himself.


H. G. Wells in 1908 at the door of his house at Sandgate
H. G. Wells in 1908 at the door of his house at Sandgate

In 1883, Wells's employer dismissed him, claiming to be dissatisfied with him. The young man was reportedly not displeased with this ending to his apprenticeship. Later that year, he became an assistant teacher at Midhurst Grammar School, in West Sussex, until he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science (later the Royal College of Science, now part of Imperial College, London) in London, studying biology under T. H. Huxley. As an alumnus, he later helped to set up the Royal College of Science Association, of which he became the first president in 1909. Wells studied in his new school until 1887 with an allowance of twenty-one shillings a week thanks to his scholarship.

He soon entered the Debating Society of the school. These years mark the beginning of his interest in a possible reformation of society. At first approaching the subject through studying The Republic by Plato, he soon turned to contemporary ideas of socialism as expressed by the recently formed Fabian Society and free lectures delivered at Kelmscott House, the home of William Morris. He was also among the founders of The Science School Journal, a school magazine which allowed him to express his views on literature and society. The school year 1886-1887 was the last year of his studies. Having previously successfully passed his exams in both biology and physics, his lack of interest in geology resulted in his failure to pass and the loss of his scholarship.

Wells was left without a source of income. His aunt Mary, a cousin of his father, invited him to stay with her for a while, so at least he did not face the problem of housing. During his stay with his aunt, he grew interested in her daughter, Isabel.

Marriage and liaisons

In 1891 Wells married his cousin Isabel Mary Wells, but left her in 1894 for one of his students, Amy Catherine Robbins, whom he married in 1895. He had two sons by Amy: George Philip (known as 'Gip') in 1901 and Frank Richard in 1903.[3]

During his marriage to Amy, Wells had liaisons with a number of women, including the American birth control activist Margaret Sanger.[4] In 1909 he had a daughter, Anna-Jane, with the writer Amber Reeves [3], whose parents William and Maud Pember Reeves he had met through the Fabian Society, and in 1914, a son, Anthony West, by the novelist and feminist Rebecca West, twenty-six years his junior.[5] In spite of Amy Catherine's knowledge of some of these affairs, she remained married to Wells until her death in 1927.[3] Wells also had liaisons with Odette Keun and Moura Budberg.

"I was never a great amorist," Wells wrote in Experiment in Autobiography (1934), "though I have loved several people very deeply."


As one method of self-expression, Wells tended to sketch. One common location for these sketches were the endpapers and title pages of his own books, and they covered a wide variety of topics, from political commentary, to his feelings toward his literary contemporaries, to his current romantic interests. During his marriage to Amy Catherine, whom he nicknamed Jane, he sketched a considerable number of pictures, many of them being overt comments on their marriage. It was during this period, and this period only, that he called his sketches "picshuas." These picshuas have been the topic of study by Wells scholars for many years, and recently a book was published on the subject.[6]

Game designer

Seeking a more structured way to play war games, Wells wrote Floor Games (1911) followed by Little Wars (1913). Little Wars is recognised today as the first recreational wargame and Wells is regarded by gamers and hobbyists as "the Father of Miniature Wargaming."[7]


Wells' first bestseller was Anticipations (1901).[8] When originally serialised in a magazine it was subtitled, "An Experiment in Prophecy", and is considered his most explicitly futuristic work. Anticipating what the world would be like in the year 2000, the book is interesting both for its hits (trains and cars resulting in the dispersion of population from cities to suburbs; moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom; the defeat of German militarism, and the existence of a European Union) and its misses (he did not expect successful aircraft before 1950, and averred that "my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea").

Statue of a War of the Worlds tripod, erected as a tribute to H. G. Wells in Woking town centre, UK.
Statue of a War of the Worlds tripod, erected as a tribute to H. G. Wells in Woking town centre, UK.

His early novels, called "scientific romances", invented a number of themes now classic in science fiction in such works as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds (which have all been made into films) and are often thought of as being influenced by the works of Jules Verne. He also wrote other, non-fantastic novels which have received critical acclaim, including the satire on Edwardian advertising Tono-Bungay and Kipps.

Wells also wrote several dozen short stories and novellas, the best known of which is "The Country of the Blind" (1911). Besides being an important occurrence of blindness in literature, this is Wells's commentary on humanity's ability to overcome any inconvenience after a few generations and think that it is normal.

Though Tono-Bungay was not a science-fiction novel, radioactive decay plays a small but consequential role in it. Radioactive decay plays a much larger role in The World Set Free (1914). This book contains what is surely his biggest prophetic "hit." Scientists of the day were well aware that the natural decay of radium releases energy at a slow rate over thousands of years. The rate of release is too slow to have practical utility, but the total amount released is huge. Wells' novel revolves around an (unspecified) invention that accelerates the process of radioactive decay, producing bombs that explode with no more than the force of ordinary high explosive— but which "continue to explode" for days on end. "Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the earlier twentieth century," he wrote, "than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible... [but] they did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands." Leó Szilárd acknowledged that the book inspired him to theorise the nuclear chain reaction.

Wells also wrote nonfiction. His bestselling two-volume work, The Outline of History (1920), began a new era of popularized world history. It received a mixed critical response from professional historians, but was praised by Arnold J. Toynbee as the best introductory history available.[1] Many other authors followed with 'Outlines' of their own in other subjects. Wells reprised his Outline in 1922 with a much shorter popular work, A Short History of the World[2], and two long efforts, The Science of Life (1930) and The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (1931). The 'Outlines' became sufficiently common for James Thurber to parody the trend in his humorous essay, "An Outline of Scientists" — indeed, Wells' Outline of History remains in print with a new 2005 edition, while A Short History of the World has been recently reedited (2006).

From quite early in his career, he sought a better way to organize society, and wrote a number of Utopian novels. Usually starting with the world rushing to catastrophe, until people realise a better way of living: whether by mysterious gases from a comet causing people to behave rationally (In the Days of the Comet), or a world council of scientists taking over, as in The Shape of Things to Come (1933, which he later adapted for the 1936 Alexander Korda film, Things to Come). This depicted, all too accurately, the impending World War, with cities being destroyed by aerial bombs. He also portrayed social reconstruction through the rise of fascist dictators in The Autocracy of Mr Parham (1930) and The Holy Terror (1939).

H. G. Wells in 1943
H. G. Wells in 1943

Wells contemplates the ideas of nature vs. nurture and questions humanity in books like The Island of Doctor Moreau. Not all his scientific romances ended in a happy Utopia, as the dystopian When the Sleeper Wakes (1899, rewritten as The Sleeper Awakes, 1910) shows. The Island of Doctor Moreau is even darker. The narrator, having been trapped on an island of animals vivisected (unsuccessfully) into human beings, eventually returns to England; like Gulliver on his return from the Houyhnhnms, he finds himself unable to shake off the perceptions of his fellow humans as barely civilised beasts, slowly reverting back to their animal natures.

Wells also wrote the preface for the first edition of W. N. P. Barbellion's diaries, The Journal of a Disappointed Man, published in 1919. Since "Barbellion" was the real author's pen-name, many reviewers believed Wells to have been the true author of the Journal; Wells always denied this, despite being full of praise for the diaries, but the rumours persisted until Barbellion's death later that year.

In 1927, Florence Deeks sued Wells for plagiarism, claiming that he had stolen much of the content of The Outline of History from a work, The Web, she had submitted to the Canadian Macmillan Company, but who held onto the manuscript for eight months before rejecting it. Despite numerous similarities in phrasing and factual errors, the court found Wells not guilty.

In 1938, he published a collection of essays on the future organisation of knowledge and education, World Brain, including the essay, "The Idea of a Permanent World Encyclopaedia."

Near the end of the Second World War, Allied forces discovered that the SS had compiled lists of intellectuals and politicians slated for immediate liquidation upon the invasion of England in the abandoned Operation Sea Lion. The name "H.G. Wells" appeared high on the list for the "crime" of being a socialist. Wells, as president of the International PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists), had already angered the Nazis by overseeing the expulsion of the German PEN club from the international body in 1934 following the German PEN's refusal to admit non-Aryan writers to its membership.

Political efforts

Wells called his political views socialist, but he occasionally found himself at odds with other socialists. He was for a time a member of the Fabian Society, but broke with them as he intended them to be an organization far more radical than they wanted. He later grew staunchly critical of them as having a poor understanding of economics and educational reform. He also ran as a Labour Party candidate for London University in 1922 and 1923, but even at that point his faith in that party was weak or uncertain.

His most consistent political ideal was the World State. He stated in his autobiography that from 1900 onward he considered a world-state inevitable. The details of this state varied but in general it would be a planned society that would advance science, end nationalism, and allow people to advance solely by merit rather than birth. He also was consistent that it must not be a democracy. He stated that in the same period he came to realize a world-state was inevitable he realized that parliamentary democracy as then practiced was insufficient. Wells remained fairly consistent in rejection of a world-state being a parliamentary democracy and therefore during his work on the United Nations Charter he opposed any mention of democracy. He feared that the average citizen could never be educated or aware enough to decide the major issues of the world. Therefore he favored the vote be limited to scientists, organizers, engineers, and others of merit. At the same time he strongly believed citizens should have as much freedom as they could without consequently restricting the freedom of others. These values came under increasing criticism from the 1920s and afterwards.[9]

That said, he remained confident of the inevitability of a planned world state well into the 1930s. Lenin's attempts at reconstructing the shattered Russian economy, as his account of a visit (Russia in the Shadows; 1920) shows, also related towards that. This is because at first he believed Lenin might lead to the kind of planned world he envisioned. This despite the fact that he was a strongly anti-Marxist socialist who would later state that it would've been better if Karl Marx was never born. The leadership of Joseph Stalin led to a change in his view of the Soviet Union even though his initial impression of Stalin himself was mixed. He disliked what he saw as a narrow orthodoxy and obdurance to the facts in Stalin. However he did give him some praise saying, "I have never met a man more fair, candid, and honest" and making it clear that he felt the "sinister" image of Stalin was unfair or simply false. Nevertheless he judged Stalin's rule to be far too rigid, restrictive of independent thought, and blinkered to lead toward the Cosmopolis he hoped for.[10]

In the end his contemporary political impact was limited. His efforts to help form the League of Nations became a disappointment as the organization turned out to be a weak one unable to prevent World War II. The war itself increased the pessimistic side of his nature. In his last book Mind at the End of its Tether (1945) he considered the idea that humanity being replaced by another species might not be a bad idea. He also came to call the era "The age of frustration." He spent his final years venting this frustration at various targets from the Roman Catholic Church to a neighbour who erected a large sign to a servicemen's club. As he devoted his final decades toward causes which were largely rejected by contemporaries, this caused his literary reputation to decline. One critic complained: "He sold his birthright for a pot of message"[11]

Wells, like many in his time, believed in the theory of eugenics. In 1904 he discussed a survey paper by Francis Galton, co-founder of eugenics, saying "I believe .. It is in the sterilization of failure, and not in the selection of successes for breeding, that the possibility of an improvement of the human stock lies." Some contemporary supporters even suggested connections between the "degenerate" man-creatures portrayed in The Time Machine and Wells' eugenic beliefs. For example, this is what Irving Fisher, the economist, said in his 1912 presidential address to the Eugenics Research Association: "The Nordic race will... vanish or lose its dominance if, in fact, the whole human race does not sink so low as to become the prey, as H. G. Wells images, of some less degenerate animal!" [12]


In his lifetime and after his death, Wells was considered a prominent socialist thinker. In later years, however, Wells's image has shifted and he is now thought of simply as one of the pioneers of science fiction; Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and staunch Republican, praised Wells in his book To Renew America, writing "Our generation is still seeking its Jules Verne or H.G. Wells to dazzle our imaginations with hope and optimism".[13]

Apparently a reference to his novels that became true, his gravestone reads Damn you all: I told you so.

Appearances in other contexts

H. G. Wells has been portrayed in a number of novels and films, including:

  • The novel The Time Ships, by British author Stephen Baxter, was designated by the Wells estate as an authorised sequel to The Time Machine, marking the centenary of its publication, and features characters, situations and technobabble from several of Wells' stories, as well as a representation of Wells (unnamed, and referred to as 'my friend, the Author').
  • In C. S. Lewis' novel That Hideous Strength, the character Jules is a caricature of Wells, and much of Lewis' science fiction was written both under the influence of Wells and as an antithesis to his work. The devoutly Christian Lewis was especially incensed at Wells' The Shape of Things to Come where a future world government systematically persecutes and completely obliterates Christianity (and all other religions), which the book presents as a positive and vitally necessary act.
  • Wells' photo appears on a stairway wall of time traveller Alex Hartdegen's NY brownstone, in a 2002 version of The Time Machine, directed by Wells' great-grandson Simon Wells. {The 1960 movie version has a plate on the Time Machine telling that it had been manufactured by "H.G.Wells"!}
  • Arthur Sammler, the main character of Saul Bellow's Mr. Sammler's Planet, knew Wells, and is urged by other characters to use that fact as the basis for writing a biography of Wells, a project about which Holocaust survivor and a self-made philosopher Sammler has decidedly mixed feelings.
  • Wells appears as the protagonist in the 1979 film Time After Time, and in the novel The Martian War by Kevin J. Anderson (as "Gabriel Mesta"). Both works use the conceit that Wells' works were based upon actual adventures he had.
  • In an episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, entitled Tempus Fugitive, a time-traveling H.G. Wells (Terry Kiser) seeks out Superman's help to stop a criminal from the future whom Wells had accidentally unleashed on the present. The concept of Wells' time machine being stolen and used for evil closely resembles the plot of Time After Time. Both H.G. Wells and the criminal Tempus returned for two later episodes.
  • In the Disney Channel series Phil of the Future, the title character attends a fictional school named H.G. Wells Junior High, the name of the school possibly drawn from the show's science fiction manner.
  • In Ben Bova's short story "Inspiration", the narrator gets Wells to meet a young Albert Einstein and Lord Kelvin. in the end of the story he (Wells) gave a tip to a 6 year old Adolf Hitler.
  • A young and excitable H.G. Wells appears in an episode of Doctor Who, entitled Timelash, though for most of the episode he is cast simply as Herbert.
  • The movie Librarian:Quest for The Spear, ends with the main character, Flynn Carsen, getting a mission to retrieve HG Wells' Time Machine.


(Entries marked with an * are available at the Project Gutenberg website.)

  • "The Chronic Argonauts" (short story, 1888)
  • Textbook of Biology (1893) (revised in 1898 as Textbook of Zoology)
  • Honours Physiography, co-written with R. A. Gregory, (1893)
  • Select Conversations with an Uncle (now extinct) (1895)
  • The Time Machine: An Invention (1895)*
  • The Wonderful Visit (1895)
  • The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents (1895)*
  • The Argonauts of the Air (1895)
  • Under the Knife (1896)
  • In The Abyss (1896)
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)*
  • The Red Room (1896)*
  • The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll (1896)*
  • The Sea Raiders (1896)
  • The Crystal Egg (1897)
  • The Star (1897)
  • A Story of the Stone Age (1897)
  • The Plattner Story, and Others (1897)
  • The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance (1897)*
  • Certain Personal Matters: A Collection of Material, Mainly Autobiographical (1898)
  • The War of the Worlds (1898)*
  • The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1898)
  • When the Sleeper Wakes (1899) (later revised as The Sleeper Awakes, 1910)*
  • Tales of Space and Time (1899)
  • A Story of the Days To Come (1899)
  • Love and Mr Lewisham: The Story of a Very Young Couple (1900)*
  • The First Men in the Moon (1901)*
  • Filmer (1901)
  • The New Accelerator (1901)
  • Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1902)
  • The Discovery of the Future (1902)
  • The Sea Lady: A Tissue of Moonshine (1902)
  • Mankind in the Making (1903)*
  • The Magic Shop (1903)*
  • Twelve Stories and a Dream (1903)
  • The Truth About Pyecraft (1903)
  • The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth (1904)*
  • The Land Ironclads (1904)
  • Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul (1905)
  • A Modern Utopia (1905)*
  • The Empire of the Ants (1905)
  • In the Days of the Comet (1906)*
  • The Future in America: A Search After Realities (1906)
  • Faults of the Fabian (1906)
  • Socialism and the Family (1906)
  • Reconstruction of the Fabian Society (1906)
  • This Misery of Boots (1907), reprinted from the Independent Review, Dec. 1905.
  • Will Socialism Destroy the Home? (paper, written in 1907)
  • New Worlds for Old (1908)
  • The War in the Air (1908)*
  • First and Last Things: A Confession of Faith and Rule of Life (1908)*
  • The Valley of Spiders (1909)
  • Ann Veronica (1909)*
  • Tono-Bungay (1909)*
  • The History of Mr. Polly (1910)*
  • The Sleeper Awakes (1910)* - Revised edition of When the Sleeper Wakes 1899
  • The Late Mr Elvesham (1911)
  • The New Machiavelli (1911)*
  • The Country of the Blind and Other Stories (1911)*
  • The Door in the Wall and Other Stories (1911)
  • Floor Games (1911)*
  • The Great State: Essays in Construction (U.S. title: Socialism and the Great State: Essays in Construction) (edited by Wells, G. R. S. Taylor and Lady Warwick (1912)
  • The Labour Unrest (1912)
  • Marriage (1912)
  • War and Common Sense (1913)
  • Liberalism and Its Party: What Are the Liberals to Do? (1913)
  • Little Wars: A Game for Boys from Twelve Years of Age to One Hundred and Fifty and for that More Intelligent Sort of Girls who Like Boys' Games and Books (1913)
  • The Passionate Friends: A Novel (1913)
  • An Englishman Looks at the World: Being A Series of Unrestrained Remarks upon Contemporary Matters (U.S. title: Social Forces in England and America) (1914)
  • The World Set Free: A Story of Mankind (1914)
  • The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman (1914)
  • The War That Will End War (1914)
  • The Peace of the World (1915)
  • Boon, The Mind of the Race, The Wild Asses of the Devil, and The Last Trump: Being a First Selection from the Literary Remains of George Boon, Appropriate to the Times (the first edition was published pseudonymously under the name 'Reginald Bliss') (1915)
  • Bealby: A Holiday (1915)
  • Tidstänkar (1915)
  • The Research Magnificent (1915)
  • What is Coming? A Forecast of Things After the War (1916)
  • Mr. Britling Sees It Through (1916)
  • The Elements of Reconstruction: A Series of Articles Contributed in July and August 1916 to The Times (the first edition was published pseudonymously under the initals 'D. P.') (1916)
  • God the Invisible King (1917)*
  • War and the Future: Italy, France and Britain at War (US edition published as Italy, France and Britain at War) (1917)*
  • The Soul of a Bishop (1917)*
  • A Reasonable Man's Peace (1917)
  • Joan and Peter: The Story of an Education (1918)
  • In the Fourth Year: Anticipations of a World Peace (1918)
  • The Undying Fire: A Contemporary Novel (1919)
  • 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) (1919)
  • The Way to 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) (1919)
  • History is One (1919)
  • The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind, I, II (1920, 1931, 1940; posthumous revisions by Raymond Postgate 1949, 1956, 1961, 1971)
  • Russia in the Shadows (1920)
  • The Salvaging of Civilization (1921)
  • The New Teaching of History. With a Reply to Some Criticisms of 'The Outline of History' (1921)
  • Washington and the Hope of Peace (US title: Washington and the Riddle of Peace) (1922)
  • What H.G. Wells Thinks about 'The Mind in the Making' (1922)
  • University of London Election: An Electoral Letter (1922)
  • The World, its Debts and the Rich Men (1922)
  • A Short History of the World (1922, 1931, 1938, 1945; with several posthumous revisions by G. P. Wells and Raymond Postgate)
  • The Secret Places of the Heart (1922)*
  • Men Like Gods: A Novel (1923)
  • Socialism and the Scientific Motive (1923)
  • To the Electors of London University, University General Election, 1923, from H.G. Wells, B.Sc., London (1923)
  • The Labour Ideal of Education (1923)
  • A Walk Along the Thames Embankment (1923)
  • The Story of a Great School Master (1924)
  • The Dream: A Novel (1924)
  • The P.R. Parliament (1924)
  • A Year of Prophesying (1924)
  • Christina Alberta's Father (1925)
  • A Forecast of the World's Affairs (1925)
  • The World of William Clissold: A Novel at a New Angle, I, II, III (1926)
  • Mr. Belloc Objects to the 'Outline of History' (1926)
  • Democracy Under Revision (1927)
  • Playing at Peace (1927)
  • Meanwhile: The Picture of a Lady (1927)
  • The Stolen Body (1927)
  • A Dream of Armageddon (1927)
  • The Short Stories of H. G. Wells (1927) (later retitled The Complete Short Stories of H. G. Wells and subsequently updated in 1998) - includes A Vision of Judgment
  • The Way the World is Going: Guesses & Forecasts of the Years Ahead (1928)
  • The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution (1928, 1930 [subtitled A Second Version of This Faith of a Modern Man Made More Explicit and Plain], 1933 [no subtitle]), also published under the title What are We to do With our Lives? [1931])
  • Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island: Being the Story of a Gentleman of Culture and Refinement who suffered Shipwreck and saw no Human Beings other than Cruel and Savage Cannibals for several years. How he beheld Megatheria alive and made some notes of their Habits. How he became a Sacred Lunatic. How he did at last escape in a Strange Manner from the Horror and Barbarities of Rampole Island in time to fight in the Great War, and how afterwards he came near returning to that Island for ever. With much Amusing and Edifying Matter concerning Manners, Customs, Beliefs, Warfare, Crime, and a Storm at Sea. Concluding with some Reflections upon Life in General and upon these Present Times in Particular (1928)
  • The Book of Catherine Wells (1928) (edited by Wells)
  • The King Who Was A King: The Book of a Film (US subtitle An Unconventional Novel) (1929)
  • Common Sense of World Peace (1929)
  • The Adventures of Tommy (1929)
  • Imperialism and The Open Conspiracy (1929)
  • The Autocracy of Mr. Parham: His Remarkable Adventures in this Changing World (1930)
  • The Science of Life: A Summary of Contemporary Knowledge about Life and its Possibilities, I, II, III (with Julian S. Huxley and G. P. Wells) (1930) (subsequently reissued in nine volumes, 1934-1937, under the general title The 'Science of Life' Series)
  • The Way to World Peace (1930)
  • The Problem of the Troublesome Collaborator: An Account of Certain Difficulties in an Attempt to Produce a Work in Collaboration and of the Intervention of the Society of Authors Therein (1930)
  • Settlement of the Trouble between Mr. Thring and Mr. Wells: A Footnote to the Problem of the Troublesome Collaborator (1930)
  • What Are We To Do With Our Lives? (revision of The Open Conspiracy) (1931)
  • The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (USA 1931; first UK edition, 1932)
  • After Democracy: Addresses and Papers on the Present World Situation (1932)
  • The Bulpington of Blup: Adventures, Poses, Stresses, Conflicts, and Disaster in a Contemporary Brain (1932)
  • What Should be Done Now? (1932)
  • The Shape of Things to Come: The Ultimate Revolution (1933)
  • Experiment in Autobiography: Discoveries and Conclusions of a Very Ordinary Brain (since 1866), I, II (1934) (a third volume, entitled H. G. Wells in Love was published posthumously in 1984)
  • Stalin-Wells Talk: The Verbatim Record and a Discussion (with Josef Stalin, George Bernard Shaw, J. M. Keynes, Ernst Toller and Dora Russell (1934)
  • The New America: The New World (1935)
  • Things to Come: A Film Story (1935)
  • The Anatomy of Frustration: A Modern Synthesis (1936)
  • The Croquet Player (1936)
  • The Idea of a World Encyclopaedia (1936)
  • The Man Who Could Work Miracles: A Film (1936)
  • Star Begotten: A Biological Fantasia (US title, Star-Begotten) (1937)
  • Brynhild, or the Show of Things (1937)
  • The Camford Visitation (1937)
  • The Informative Content of Education (1937)
  • The Brothers: A Story (1938)
  • World Brain (1938)
  • Apropos of Dolores (1938)
  • The Holy Terror (1939)
  • Travels of a Republican Radical in Search of Hot Water (1939)
  • The Fate of Homo Sapiens: An unemotional Statement of the Things that are happening to him now, and of the immediate Possibilities confronting him (US title: The Fate of Man) (1939)
  • The New World Order: Whether it is attainable, how it can be attained, and what sort of world a world at peace will have to be (1939)
  • The Rights of Man, Or What Are We Fighting For? (1940)
  • Babes in the Darkling Wood (1940)
  • The Common Sense of War and Peace: World Revolution of War Unending (1940)
  • All Aboard for Ararat (1940)
  • Guide to the New World: A Handbook of Constructive World Revolution (1941)
  • You Can't Be Too Careful (1941)
  • The Outlook for Homo Sapiens: An unemotional Statement of the Things that are happening to him now, and of the immediate Possibilities confrontinmg him (1942) (this is an amalgamation of The Fate of Homo Sapiens and The New World Order)
  • Science and the World-Mind (1942)
  • Phoenix: A Summary of the Inescapable Conditions of World Reorganization (1942)
  • A Thesis on the Quality of Illusion in the Continuity of Individual Life of the Higher Metazoa, with Particular Reference to the Species Homo Sapiens (1942)
  • The Conquest of Time (1942)
  • The New Rights of Man: Text of Letter to Wells from Soviet Writer, Who Pictures the Ordeal and Rescue of Humanistic Civilization - H. G. Wells' Reply and Program for Liberated Humanity (with Lev Uspensky) (1942)
  • Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church (1943)
  • The Mosley Outrage (1943)
  • The Rights of Man: An Essay in Collective Definition (edited anonymously by Wells) (1943)
  • '42 to '44: A Contemporary Memoir upon Human Behaviour during the Crisis of the World Revolution (1944)
  • The Illusion of Personality (1944)
  • The Happy Turning: A Dream of Life (1945)
  • Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945)
  • The Desert Daisy (posthumous publication of a work written in c. 1878-1880) (1957)
  • The Wealth of Mr Waddy (posthumous publication of a work written in c. 1898-1905, which Wells revised and published as Kipps, edited by Harris Wilson) (1969)
  • H. G. Wells in Love (posthumous third volume of his autobiography, edited by G. P. Wells) (1984)
  • The Betterave Papers and Aesop's Quinine for Delphi, edited by John Hammond (2001)


  • H. G. Wells crater on the far side of the Moon is named for him.
  • H. G. Wells was a honorary fellow of the Imperial College of Science and Technology


  1. ^ Adam Charles Roberts(2000), "The History of Science Fiction": Page 48 in Science Fiction, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-19204-8. Others who are popularly called the "Father of Science Fiction" include Hugo Gernsback and Jules Verne, see the list of people known as father or mother of something.
  2. ^ Parrinder, Patrick (2004). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ a b c ThinkQuest Library. H.G. Wells Biography.
  4. ^ University of Illinois News Bureau, December 2001. New biography on H.G. Wells focuses on late-life loves.
  5. ^ Pegasos - A Literature Related Resource Site. H(erbert) G(eorge) Wells (1866-1946).
  6. ^ Rinkel, Gene and Margaret. The Picshuas of H.G. Wells : A burlesque diary. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2006. ISBN 0-252-03045-1 (cloth : acid-free paper).
  7. ^ The Miniatures Page. The World of Miniatures - An Overview.
  8. ^ World Transhumanist Association. Herbert George Wells.
  9. ^ An Experiment in Autobiography 556. Also chapter four of Future as Nightmare: H. G. Wells and the Anti-Utopians by Mark Robert Hillegas.
  10. ^ An Experiment in Autobiography p. 215, 687-689
  11. ^ Encyclopedia Americana vol. 28 p. 616 and The Scientific Romance in Britain: 1890-1950 by Brian Stableford. Also The "pot of message" remark comes from a 1948 Theodore Sturgeon short story entitled Unite and Conquer, a character in the story was quoting a "Dr. Pierce".
  12. ^ David M. Levy and Sandra J. Peart. "Eugenics Rides a Time Machine: H.G. Wells' outline of genocide". Reason Magazine. March 26, 2002
  13. ^ Gingrich, Newt. To Renew America. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. p. 189.

Further reading

  • Gilmour, David. The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002 (paperback, ISBN 0-374-18702-9); 2003 (paperback, ISBN 0-374-52896-9).
  • Gomme, A.W. Mr. Wells as Historian. Glasgow: MacLehose, Jackson, and Co., 1921.

See also

  • H. G. Wells Society
  • Science Fiction
  • Invasion literature
  • Fabian Society
  • List of Socialists
  • Cosmotheism
  • Noosphere
  • Omega Point
  • Bolesław Prus, regarding Prus' review of Wells' Anticipations.

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Sponsored Links

A Dream Of Armageddon

An Englishman Looks At The World

Door In The Wall And Other Stories

Fate Of Man

First Men In The Moon

Food Of The Gods And How It Came To Earth

History Of Mr. Polly

In The Day Of The Comet

In The Fourth Year

In The Fourth Year, Anticipations Of A World Peace

Island Of Doctor Moreau

La Guerre Dans Les Airs

By H. G. Wells
Litterature Classiques

La Guerre Dans Les Airs
Details Report
Share this Book!

Love And Mr. Lewisham

Mankind In The Making

Modern Utopia

Salvaging Of Civilization

Shape Of Things To Come

The Country Of The Blind, And Other Stories

The Food Of The Gods And How It Came To Earth

The Great State

The Invisible Man

The Man Who Could Work Miracles

The Secret Places Of The Heart

The Sleeper Awakes

The Sleeper Awakes

The Stolen Bacillus And Other Incidents

The Truth About Pyecraft

The Wheels Of Chance

Time Machine

By H. G. Wells
Fiction , Fantasy

Time Machine
Details Report
Share this Book!

Twelve Stories And A Dream

War And The Future

War In The Air

By H. G. Wells
Fiction , Fantasy

War In The Air
Details Report
Share this Book!

War Of The Worlds

By H. G. Wells
Fiction , Fantasy

War Of The Worlds
Details Report
Share this Book!

Washington And The Riddle Of Peace

What Is Coming

By H. G. Wells
Opinion & Commentary

What Is Coming
Details Report
Share this Book!

When The Sleeper Wakes

message of the week Message of The Week

Bookyards Youtube channel is now active. The link to our Youtube page is here.

If you have a website or blog and you want to link to Bookyards. You can use/get our embed code at the following link.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Bookyards Facebook, Tumblr, Blog, and Twitter sites are now active. For updates, free ebooks, and for commentary on current news and events on all things books, please go to the following:

Bookyards at Facebook

Bookyards at Twitter

Bookyards at Pinterest

Bookyards atTumblr

Bookyards blog

message of the daySponsored Links