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A broken leg is not likely to start a boy on a career as a popular author, but it did so for young H.G. Wells. As he lay in bed he discovered a fascinating world of books.

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Introduction

A broken leg is not likely to start a boy on a career as a popular author, but it did so for young H.G. Wells. As he lay in bed he discovered a fascinating world of books. He was an English novelist, short story writer and popular historian. Wells was the third son of an unsuccessful shopkeeper. At 18 he left his job as a draper's apprentice and became a pupil teacher at the Midhurst Grammar School, from where he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science, South Kensington and studied biology under T. H. Huxley. Wells found Huxley an inspiring teacher and as a result developed a strong interest in evolution. Wells founded and edited the Science Schools Journal while at university. Herbert was disappointed with the teaching he received in the second year and so in 1887 he left without obtaining a degree. Although distracted by politics, writing and teaching he obtained a BSc in 1890 and then lectured for the Universal Tutorial College until the success of his short stories allowed him to concentrate full-time on writing. ...read more.

Middle

and Mankind in the Making (1903). These books impressed the three leaders of the Fabian Society, George Bernard Shaw, Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb. Wells accepted their suggestion that he should join the society. Once a member of the Fabian Society, Wells tried to change it. Rather than a small group of intellectuals discussing socialist reform, he thought that it should be a large pressure group protesting for change. When the existing leadership resisted these ideas, Herbert attempted to gain control of the organisation. Wells managed to gain election to the Fabian Society's Executive Committee but gained little support for change from the rest of the group. In his early scientific writings H. G. Wells predicted the invention of modern weapons such as the tank and the atom bomb. He was therefore horrified by the outbreak of the First World War. Unlike many socialists, he supported Britain's involvement in the war, however, he believed politicians should use this opportunity to create a new world order. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wells also stressed that society needed to establish structures that ensured that the most intelligent gained power. Some socialists criticised Wells claiming that he was now preaching a form of leadership. In his novel The Shape of Things to Come published in 1933, Wells describes a world that had been devastated by decades of war and was now being rebuilt by the use of humanistic technology. In 1936 the book was turned into a very successful film. In 1934 Wells visited the Soviet Union and the United States. Although Wells clearly preferred what Roosevelt was trying to do, some people believed he was far too sympathetic to Stalin. One of his main critics was his old adversary at the Fabian Society, George Bernard Shaw. Wells was shocked by the outbreak of the Second World War and wrote extensively about the need to make sure that we used the conflict to establish a new, rational world order. H. G. Wells died on 13th August, 1946, while working on a project that dealt with the dangers of nuclear war. ...read more.

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