An Indepth Look at HG Wells
Herbert George Wells was born on September 21, 1866 in Bromley, England, the last of four children. His mother was a house cleaner and his father was a shopkeeper. When he was eight years old, he broke his leg, spent a lot of time reading, and discovered an intense interest in books. At the age of thirteen, his father was injured in an accident so Wells had to leave school and work for a draper. He hated this work and managed to change his employment by working for his uncle and becoming a part-time tutor. This gave him the opportunity to continue his studies in his free time. He finally won a scholarship to The Normal School of Science in London. He worked as a journalist while continuing his education.
In 1891, he married his cousin Isabel. In 1894, he and Isabel were divorced and he then married one of his pupils. In 1895, Wells’ first major work was published- Select Conversations with an Uncle. His next book, The Time Machine, also published in 1895, started Wells on his road to success. This book was followed by The Island of Doctor Moreau, in 1896, The Invisible Man, in 1897, and War of the Worlds, in 1898.H.G. Wells was one of the fathers of modern science fiction. He made his reputation as a writer through what he called “scientific romances”, a comment he made about his own science fiction in the 1930’s. However, he himself said that there were radical differences between his science fiction and that of Jules Verne. Wells said that his own work was “an exercise of the imagination”, as in The Invisible Man and The War of the Worlds. In these books he was not suggesting a serious possibility, just trying to imagine what might happen in a given situation.
Jules Verne, on the other hand, based his stories on scientific knowledge. He criticized Wells as basing his books on fantastic, not scientific, assumptions. Wells in some of his books, however, like The Island of Dr. Moreau, did deal with what he called “Fantasies of possibilities”.
Wells also considered himself a philosophical writer and urged that some of his books be taken seriously.