H. G. Wells Biography

H. G. Wells Biography

H. G. Wells' influence on the emerging field of science fiction is almost impossible to overstate. Trained in science and as a teacher, Herbert George Wells was also intensely political: he was a socialist, a radical, and a supporter of a planned world state. In his fiction, Wells often combined his pedagogical tendencies with his political concerns, but that in no way affected the creativity and high literary value of his sci-fi writing. Among his genre-defining works are a time travel novel (The Time Machine), a riveting classic about interplanetary warfare (War of the Worlds), and some genuinely creepy novels exploring the social implications of scientific exploration (The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau).

Facts and Trivia

  • Wells is a sufficiently intriguing and romantic figure that he has appeared as a character in other people’s stories many times. He’s popped up in episodes of Lois and Clarke and Doctor Who, and he also provided the model for a character in C. S. Lewis’ novel That Hideous Strength. If you look closely enough, you can even see his picture in one scene from the 2002 film version of The Time Machine.
  • Speaking of romantic figures, Wells was married twice and had numerous affairs throughout his life.
  • In 1938, Orson Welles directed a radio adaptation of Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Many listeners took the broadcast as factual and thought Earth had actually been invaded by Martians.
  • In The Time Machine, Wells suggested that classes might actually evolve into different races. The working class became the Morlocks, a name that has been used in comic books (in Marvel’s X-Men series) and music (there’s a garage-punk band called The Morlocks).
  • Wells had no doubts about his talent, his intelligence, and his legacy. Here’s what he thought his epitaph would have to be: “I told you so. You damned fools.” (The italics, by the way, were Orwell’s.)
Additional Content
  • Biography (History of the World: The 20th Century)
  • Biography
  • Biography (Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)
  • Biography (Survey of Novels and Novellas)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography
  • Biography
  • Biography
  • Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)
  • Biography

(The entire section is 7279 words.)