(1866 - 1946)
“We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories ... And those that carry us forward, are dreams.”

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley in 1866 to a father who played cricket for Kent and a mother who was the Housekeeper at Uppark, a large country estate with an impressive library.  It was this library which had a marked effect on the young Herbert, allowing him access to Dickens, Swift and Voltaire.  He was apprenticed in his early teens to a Draper, which he loathed and which did not last for long.  It did, however, provide him with the material to write of a young draper’s assistant in Kipps, a frustrated draper’s assistant in Wheels of Chance and even the anti-hero outfitter in The History of Mr Polly.  In 1883 he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, which gave him sufficient background knowledge to enable him to start writing imaginative fiction with a scientific basis.  In 1888 Wells wrote a series of articles concerning time travel entitled "The Chronic Argonauts" for The Science Schools Journal.  Some six years later he revised them for the National Observer, and then rewrote them as the serial “The Time Traveler’s Story” for the The New Review.  The editor of both journals, W.E. Henley, then persuaded Heinemann to publish the whole story as a book.  The Time Machine, published in 1895, was an overnight literary sensation and in addition to being his first novel also became a pioneering highlight of the science fiction genre.  In quick succession, he published The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898) all of which were immediately successful, their popularity continuing into the world of film. His deeply held socialist views are reflected in many of his novels, and his exploration of social class and economic disparity are particularly evident in Kipps and The Time Machine.  

He was a prolific author and in addition to his fiction, Wells wrote many essays, articles and nonfiction books. He also served as a book reviewer for the Saturday Review for several years, during which time he promoted the careers of James Joyce and Joseph Conrad. Today he is generally regarded as the “Father of Science Fiction” and his novels are as popular as ever.


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Books by this author

The History of Mr. Polly



The Works of H. G. Wells






The Invisible Man