H.G. Wells

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H.G. Wells

Autograph Note Signed

Lovely Autograph Note Signed, undated, on 3.5″ x 4.5″ imprinted Whitehall Court social card, in full in a small, clear hand:

My dear Sir

I am just sorry I’m in Essex but I expect (I am not quite certain) to return to London on Tuesday. Will you try to get me on the telephone on Tuesday afternoon.

Very sincerely yrs,
H.G. Wells

HERBERT GEORGE WELLS (1866-1946), better known as H. G. Wells, was an English writer best remembered today for the science fiction novels he published between 1895 and 1901: The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, When the Sleeper Wakes, and The First Men in the Moon. Wells and Jules Verne are each sometimes referred to as “The Father of Science Fiction”.

Wells was an outspoken socialist and a pacifist, with his later works becoming increasingly political and didactic. His novels were more realistic; they covered lower middle class life ( The History of Mr Polly ) and the ‘New Woman’ and the Suffragettes ( Ann Veronica ). He was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and produced works in many genres, including contemporary novels, history, and social commentary.

Wells’s first non-fiction bestseller was Anticipations (1901). When originally serialized 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”).

His early novels, called “scientific romances”, invented a number of themes now classic in science fiction in such works as The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, When the Sleeper Wakes, and The First Men in the Moon (all except When the Sleeper Wakes have been made into films). He also wrote other, non-fantastic novels which have received critical acclaim, including Kipps and the satire on Edwardian advertising, Tono-Bungay. Wells wrote several dozen short stories and novellas as well, the best known of which is The Country of the Blind (1904). His short story The New Accelerator was the inspiration for the Star Trek episode “Wink of an Eye”.


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