Love and Mr Lewisham is an 1899 novel set in the 1880s by H. G. Wells. It was among his first outside the science fiction genre. Wells took considerable pains over the manuscript and said of it that... More > "the writing was an altogether more serious undertaking than I have ever done before." He later included it in a 1933 anthology entitled Stories of Men and Women in Love.< Less
Orphaned at an early age, Artie Kipps is stunned to discover upon reading a newspaper that he is the grandson of a wealthy gentleman—and the inheritor of his fortune. Thrown dramatically into... More > the upper classes, he struggles to learn the etiquette and rules of polite society. But, as he soon discovers, becoming a "true gentleman" is neither as easy nor as desirable as it first appears. Kipps is a hilarious tale of one man’s struggle for selfimprovement and a witty satire of pretension.< Less
Ann Veronica describes the rebellion of Ann Veronica Stanley, "a young lady of nearly two-and-twenty," against her middle-class father's stern patriarchal rule. The novel dramatizes the... More > contemporary problem of the New Woman. It is set in Edwardian London and environs, except for an Alpine excursion. Ann Veronica offers vignettes of the Women's suffrage movement in Great Britain and features a chapter inspired by the 1908 attempt of suffragettes to storm Parliament.< Less
The protagonist of The History of Mr. Polly is an antihero inspired by H.G. Wells' early experiences in the drapery trade: Alfred Polly, born circa 1870, a timid and directionless young man living in... More > Edwardian England, who despite his own bumbling achieves a sort of contented serenity with little help from those around him. Mr. Polly's most striking characteristic is his "innate sense of epithet," which leads him to coin hilarious expressions like "the Shoveacious Cult" for "sunny young men of an abounding and elbowing energy," and "dejected angelosity" for the ornaments of Canterbury Cathedral.< Less
Men Like Gods is a novel originally published in 1923 by H. G. Wells. It features a utopia located in a parallel universe.
Mr. Barnstaple, a journalist working in London and living in Sydenham. He... More > has grown dispirited at a newspaper called The Liberal and resolves to take a holiday. Quitting wife and family, he finds his plans disrupted when his and two other automobiles are accidentally transported with their passengers into "another world," which the "Earthlings" call Utopia.
Utopia is some three thousand years ahead of humanity in its development. For Utopians, the "Days of Confusion" are a distant period studied in history books, but their past resembles humanity's in its essentials. Utopia lacks any world government and functions as a successfully realised anarchy. Their education is their government. Sectarian religion, like politics, has died away, and advanced scientific research flourishes.
H. G. Wells is best known for his science fiction, but some of his greatest works were in other genres. The Passionate Friends is a love story. It also is a story about dreams, despair, jealousy,... More > sex, the struggle against social convention, the future of civilization, and much much more. It is written by a father to his son, "not indeed to the child you are now, but to the man you are going to be." He writes it so that one day, perhaps when he is dead, his grown son can read it and rediscover him as a friend and equal. In the process, he tries to make sense of a lifetime's experiences and distill some kind of wisdom from them. It is quite simply a beautiful book, both inspiring and heartbreaking. (Summary by Peter Eastman)< Less
The protagonist of The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman is Lady Harman, née Ellen Sawbridge. The moral, emotional, and intellectual conflicts that this tall, sensitive, graceful woman confronts arise... More > in the context of a loveless marriage with Sir Isaac Harman, a self-made man who has grown rich as the proprietor of International Bread and Cake Stores and Staminal Bread. Sir Isaac meets his future wife when she is only seventeen and still a student in a boardinghouse in Wimbeldon; she marries him largely out of pity. But the marriage is not a happy one, despite great wealth and the birth of four children. Sir Isaac is inherently domineering, and in an age of Suffragettes he encounters a desire for greater freedom in his wife.< Less
The New Machiavelli is a 1911 novel by H. G. Wells that was serialized in The English Review in 1910. Because its plot notoriously derived from Wells's affair with Amber Reeves and satirized Beatrice... More > and Sidney Webb, it was "the literary scandal of its day."
A successful author and Liberal MP with a loving and benevolent wife, Richard Remington appears to be a man to envy. But underneath his superficial contentment, he is far from happy with either his marriage or the politics of his party. The New Machiavelli describes the disarray into which his life is thrown when he meets the young and beautiful Isabel Rivers and becomes tormented by desire.< Less
A monoplane falling out of the sky on a hot afternoon can shatter the leisurely peace of a croquet game below. And an injured aviator like Geoffrey Trafford can quite disrupt the calm of a girl like... More > Marjorie Pope. All obstacles - her modern views, her socialism, her cool engagement to the worldly Mr Magnet - are swept away; and, as in every misguided fairy tale, 'the poor dears haven't the shadow of a doubt they will live happily ever after'.
Written when Wells himself was caught in the entanglements of home and sex, this funny, utterly engrossing novel, shows him grappling with a perennial question; how can a marriage survive, when conventions stifle, when men and women want different things, when passions fade? Ironically, the answer he came to led to his meeting with an enraged young reviewer, Rebecca West - a collision as devastating as the plane crash in the rectory garden.< Less
Boon is a 1915 work of literary satire by H. G. Wells. It purports, however, to be by the fictional character Reginald Bliss, and for some time after publication Wells denied authorship. Boon is best... More > known for its part in Wells's debate on the nature of literature with Henry James, who is caricatured in the book. But in Boon Wells also mocks himself, calling into question and ridiculing a notion he held dear—that of humanity's collective consciousness.< Less