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.
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.
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.
George Ponderovo, whose life story closely parallels that of the author in many respects, is the rebellious son of a housekeeper for the English landed gentry. After a set-to with a social superior, George is farmed off to his uncle, Edward Ponderovo, a small-town pharmacist who dreams of rising to the highest pinnacles of British society. To this end, Edward starts peddling a worthless patent medicine, and soon enough parlays his initial success into an ever-expanding financial empire based on little more than savvy advertising and wishful thinking. Inevitably, however, the bubble bursts and there is a price to pay for all involved.
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- Easton Press
- Easton Press (1994)
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