- NAME: H.G. Wells
- OCCUPATION: Author
- BIRTH DATE: September 21, 1866
- DEATH DATE: August 13, 1946
- EDUCATION: Midhurst Grammar School, Normal School of Science, Royal College of Science, London University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Bromley, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: London, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Herbert George Wells
- AKA: Herbert Wells
- AKA: Herbert G. Wells
- AKA: H.G. Wells
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H.G. Wells was a writer of science-fiction works—including The Time Machine and War of the Worlds—who had a great influence on our vision of the future.
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A full biography of science fiction author H. G. Wells.
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Born in England in 1866, H.G. Wells's parents were shopkeepers in Kent, England. His first novel, The Time Machine was an instant success and Wells produced a series of science fiction novels which pioneered our ideas of the future. His later work focused on satire and social criticism. Wells laid out his socialist views of human history in his Outline of History. He died in 1946.
"I seek, in fiction, to advance ideas and naturally I repeat the ideas in which I believe."
Visionary writer H.G. Wells was born Herbert George Wells on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, England. Wells came from a working class background. His father played professional cricket and ran a hardware store for a time. Wells's parents were often worried about his poor health. They were afraid that he might die young, as his older sister had. At the age of 7, Wells had an accident that left him bedridden for several months. During this time, the avid young reader went through many books, including some by Washington Irving and Charles Dickens.
After Wells's father's shop failed, his family, which included two older brothers, struggled financially. The boys were apprenticed to a draper, and his mother went to work on an estate as a housekeeper. At his mother's workplace, Wells discovered the owner's extensive library. He read the works of Jonathan Swift and some of the important figures of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire.
In his early teens, Wells also went to work as a draper's assistant. He hated the job and eventually quit, much to his mother's dismay. Turning to teaching, Wells soon found a way to continue his own studies. He won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science where he learned about physics, chemistry, astronomy and biology, among other subjects.
Wells also devoted much of his time to becoming a writer. During college, he published a short story about time travel called "The Chronic Argonauts," which foreshadowed his future literary success.
In 1895, Wells became an overnight literary sensation with the publication of the novel The Time Machine. The book was about an English scientist who develops a time travel machine. While entertaining, the work also explored social and scientific topics, from class conflict to evolution. These themes recurred in some of his other popular works from this time.
Wells continued to write what some have called scientific romances, but others consider early examples of science fiction. In quick succession, he published the The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). The Island of Doctor Moreau told the story of a man who encounters a scientist conducting the gruesome experiments on animals, creating new species of creatures. In The Invisible Man, Wells explores the life of another scientist who undergoes a dark personal transformation after turning himself invisible. The War of the Worlds, a novel about an alien invasion, later caused a panic when an adaptation of the tale was broadcast on American radio. On Halloween night of 1938, Orson Welles went on the air with his version of The War of the Worlds, claiming that aliens had landed in New Jersey.
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