Painting of H. G. Wells


Lifetime: 1865 - 1946 Passed: ≈ 77 years ago


Novelist, teacher, historian, journalist



H. G. Wells

He was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction”.

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. His work also included two books on recreational war games. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and the publisher Hugo Gernsback.

Wells died of unspecified causes on 13 August 1946, aged 79, at his home at 13 Hanover Terrace, overlooking Regent's Park, and London. In his preface to the 1941 edition of The War in the Air, Wells had stated that his epitaph should be: "I told you so. You damned fools". Wells' body was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on 16 August 1946; his ashes were subsequently scattered into the English Channel at Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in Dorset.

A commemorative blue plaque in his honour was installed by the Greater London Council at his home in Regent's Park in 1966.

Books by H. G. Wells

The Invisible Man Cover image

The Invisible Man

Horror Science Fiction
Action Adventure Optics

The Invisible Man (1897) is one of the most famous science fiction novels of all time. Written by H.G. Wells (1866-1946), it tells the story of a scientist who discovers the secret of invisibility and uses it on himself. The story begins as the Invis...

The War of the Worlds Cover image

The War of the Worlds

Science Fiction Novel
Scientific romance Invasion Literature Influential

Extraterrestrial invasion, the earth taken over by omniscient intelligences from Mars, the whole of humanity under siege and a nameless narrator who seems to be the lone survivor of the complete devastation of human civilization – scenes from a Holly...

The Island of Dr. Moreau Cover image

The Island of Dr. Moreau

Romance Science Fiction Novel
Pain Cruelty Moral Responsibility

One of the first instances of science fiction, Wells’ classic tale published in 1986 examines various controversial philosophical issues active at the time of its publication, most notable being the implications of vivisection and degeneration. Narra...

The Time Machine Cover image

The Time Machine

Fantasy Dystopian Science Fiction
Graphic novel Time Travel

The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 and written as a frame narrative. The work is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle or device to travel purposely an...

The First Men in the Moon Cover image

The First Men in the Moon

Science Fiction Novel
Planets Extraterrestrial Civilisation Selenites

The First Men in the Moon is a scientific romance by the English author H. G. Wells, originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from December 1900 to August 1901 and published in hardcover in 1901, who called it one of his "fantastic stories". The...

The Sleeper Awakes Cover image

The Sleeper Awakes

Dystopian Science Fiction Novel
Oppression Socialism Impoverishment

The Sleeper Awakes is a dystopian science fiction novel by English writer H. G. Wells, about a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years, waking up in a completely transformed London in which he has become the richest man in the world. The main...

The Island of Doctor Moreau Cover image

The Island of Doctor Moreau

Science Fiction Novel
Pain Cruelty Moral Responsibility Human Nature

The Island of Doctor Moreau is an 1896 science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells (1866–1946). The text of the novel is the narration of Edward Prendick who is a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat. He is left on the island home of Doc...

Tales of Space and Time Cover image

Tales of Space and Time

Fantasy Science Fiction
Short Story

Tales of Space and Time is a fantasy and science fiction collection of three short stories and two novellas written by the English author H. G. Wells between 1897 and 1898. It was first published by Doubleday & McClure Co. in 1899. All the stories ha...

The Discovery Of The Future Cover image

The Discovery Of The Future

Future Modern

The Discovery of the Future is a 1902 philosophical lecture by H. G. Wells that argues for the knowability of the future. It was originally delivered to the Royal Institution on January 24, 1902. Before appearing in book form, it was published by Ric...

The War in the Air Cover image

The War in the Air

Science Fiction Novel
War Military Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

The War in the Air: And Particularly How Mr. Bert Smallways Fared While It Lasted is a military science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells. The novel was written in four months in 1907, and was serialized and published in 1908 in The Pall Mall Mag...

The World Set Free Cover image

The World Set Free

Science Fiction Novel
History Mankind

The World Set Free is a novel written in 1913 and published in 1914 by H. G. Wells. The book is based on a prediction of a more destructive and uncontrollable sort of weapon than the world has yet seen. It had appeared first in serialised form with a...

A Modern Utopia Cover image

A Modern Utopia

Science Fiction Novel
Future Politics Utopia

A Modern Utopia is a 1905 novel by H. G. Wells. Because of the complexity and sophistication of its narrative structure, A Modern Utopia has been called "not so much a modern as a postmodern utopia." The novel is best known for its notion that a vol...

The New Machiavelli Cover image

The New Machiavelli

Fiction Novel
Politics Sex

The New Machiavelli is a 1911 novel by H. G. Wells that was serialised in The English Review in 1910. Because its plot notoriously derived from Wells's affair with Amber Reeves and satirised Beatrice and Sidney Webb, it was "the literary scandal of i...

A Story of the Stone Age Cover image

A Story of the Stone Age

Science Fiction
Short Story

"A Story of the Stone Age" is a short story written in 1897 by H. G. Wells. The story was featured in three parts between May and August 1897 in The Idler magazine, and was later released in collected editions. The story is set during the Stone Age...

Kipps Cover image


Fiction Novel
Bildungsroman Culture Heritage

Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul is a novel by H. G. Wells, first published in 1905. Humorous yet sympathetic, the perceptive social novel is generally regarded as a masterpiece, and it was his own favourite work.

The Passionate Friends  Cover image

The Passionate Friends

Love Dream Kindness Jealousy Struggle Sex Life Experiences General Fiction

The Passionate Friends is a love story. It also is a story about dreams, despair, jealousy, 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 yo...

The Secret Places of the Heart  Cover image

The Secret Places of the Heart

Independence Autobiography Science Relationships Marital Life Criticism

The book is to a great extent autobiographical. H. G. had read some brilliantly composed articles by a writer who wrote under the name Rebecca West. In one piece she called H. G. "pseudo-scientific." He contacted her and asked what she meant. When th...

The Wheels of Chance  Cover image

The Wheels of Chance

Humour Novel
History Social Comics Freedom Class Life England

The Wheels of Chance was written at the height of the cycling craze when practical, comfortable bicycles first became widely and cheaply available and before the rise of the. The advent of the bicycle stirred sudden and profound changes in the social...

Tono-Bungay  Cover image


Battle Social Death Autobiography Village Island Beliefs

Tono-Bungay is narrated by George Ponderevo, who is persuaded to help develop the business of selling Tono-Bungay, a patent medicine created by his uncle Edward. George devotes seven years to organising the production and manufacture of the product,...

Anticipations Cover image


Philosophy Psychology
Mechanics political Life America World Wars Science Humanity United States

Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought, generally known as Anticipations, was written by H.G. Wells at the age of 34. He later called the book, which became a bestseller, "the keystone to the m...

Ann Veronica Cover image

Ann Veronica

Romance Novel
Love Children Culture Heritage Rebellion Feminism

Ann Veronica is the youngest of five children and the only one left at home. Finding a life of "calls, tennis, selected novels, walks and dusting" to be stifling, she has persuaded her father to let her attend college, although only the Tredgold Wome...

A Story of the Days to Come Cover image

A Story of the Days to Come

Science Fiction Novel
19th century Love Dystopia Romance Class Predictions Life London

A wealthy heiress falls in love with a middle-class worker of romantically quaint disposition. In part one, the woman's father hires a hypnotist to program his daughter to instead choose a more appropriate suitor selected by him. When that plot is un...

The War That Will End War  Cover image

The War That Will End War

Non-Fiction War
Politics World Wars Humanity Historical Germany

.About the First World War, and the author's conclusions. Whether or not you agree with these articles/essays, H G Wells does make many valid points about the war, and it's effect on people, especially in Britain. I suppose he cannot be blamed for ge...

Little Wars  Cover image

Little Wars

Young Military Rules Gameplay

Little Wars is a set of rules for playing with toy soldiers, written by English novelist H. G. Wells . The book, which had a full title of Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent so...

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