H G Wells

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					H. G. Wells
           Considered one of the
            most influential 20th
            century writers.
           Words that describe
             Novelist
             Essayist
             Futurist
             Historian
             Socialist
             Teacher
Biographical background
   B. September 21, 1866

   Kent County, England

   Mother: Sarah Neal, maid
    to the upper classes

   Father: Joseph Wells,
    shopkeeper and
    professional cricket player

   The Wells were very poor

   Parents had troubled
    marriage and eventually
    lived apart
        Youth: Bookworm to Draper
   Defining incident: child Herbert
    becomes avid reader while
    bedridden after breaking his leg;
    writing interest develops later
   Attended Thomas Morley’s
   Father broke leg; income from
    playing cricket eliminated
     => HG drops out of school at
       14 to get a job, help support
     => Becomes apprentice to a
       draper (fabric & sewing
     => Apprenticeship provides
       wealth of experience and
       insight that would influence
       much of his writing
Higher Education
   1883: scholarship to London’s Normal School of Science
   Studies biology and Darwinism under Thomas Henry Huxley (grandfather of
    Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World)
   Realizes science would serve him well in his writing
   Unable to complete degree; loses scholarship
   Financial hardship; moves in with Aunt and Uncle Wells
   Tutors while studying part-time at uncle’s school
   Graduates London University, Bachelor of Science with Honors in Zoology
Troubled Relationships

   1891 marries cousin Mary;
       marriage lasts 4 years

   1895 marries one of his
    students, Amy (Jane)
    Catherine Robbins; 2 sons

   Numerous relations with other
    women while married to Jane
       Two children born to Wells
        and two other women
          The Writer Emerges
Novels:                  Common themes:

                              Evolution: Is human
                               civilization advancing or
                               degrading – physically,
                               intellectually, ethically?

                              Science Progressivism:
                               When and how much should
                               scientific technology
                               intervene to “improve”

                              Socialism: What happens
                               when the upper classes
                               exploit the lower classes?

                              The future: What would it be
                               like to travel to the future?
                               The moon? To meet an
         Quotations from Wells
   “History is a race between
    education and catastrophe.”

   “Adapt or perish, now as ever,
    is nature's inexorable

   “If we don't end war, war will
    end us.”

   “You have learned something.
    That always feels at first as if
    you had lost something.”
The World-Renown Author
   1914: Predicted the atomic bomb

   Coauthored a 3-volume reference
    book with his son, zoologist and
    author, George P. Wells, and
    biologist Sir Julian Huxley, The
    Science of Life [microbes to
    human life].

   Became a well-travelled celebrity,
    meeting with world leaders and
    other exceptional authors.

   Died August 13, 1946 at his
    home in Regent’s Park, London

   Though not engraved on a
    tombstone (his body was
    cremated and ashes were
    dispersed over the sea), he wrote
    his own epitaph: “I told you so.
    You damned fools.”
Traits of Science Fiction
   A setting in the future, an alternate time, or a past that
      is different from our actual past
     A setting in space or an invented/alternate word.
     Characters may be human, alien, or some of each.
     Technology or scientific principles beyond current
      advancements or that go against current laws of
     Discovery or application of new scientific advances
      (time travel, space travel, etc).
     New and different political and social systems.
 [Comic book image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from
 [Black and white portrait photos]. (n.d.) Retrieved from H. G. Wells Photo
  Gallery, http://colemanzone.com/Time_Machine_Project/wells_pics.htm
 [Antique sewing kit image]. (n.d.) http://elegantarts.com/index.php?cPath=4
 The Independent. London Street Photography. [Sepia street image with
  children]. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-
   Merriman, C. D. “H. G. Wells.” The Literature Network. 2007. 27 March
    2011. http://www.online-literature.com/wellshg/.