Thursday, January 07, 2021

SF Luminaries: H. G. Wells



H. G. Wells (1911)


"I beg your pardon, sir," he said in his rather thin cockney voice, "is this your book?"
"It doesn't matter at all," said Wimsey gracefully, "I know it by heart. I only brought it along with me because it's handy for reading a few pages when you're stuck in a place like this for the night. You can always take it up and find something entertaining."
"This chap Wells," pursued the red-haired man, "he's what you'd call a very clever writer, isn't he? It's wonderful how he makes it all so real, and yet some of the things he says, you wouldn't hardly think they could really be possible. ...


Dorothy L. Sayers: Hangman's Holiday (1933)


So begins the first story, "The Image in the Mirror", in Dorothy Sayer's detective story collection Hangman's Holiday. Lord Peter Wimsey's interlocutor goes on to discuss with him the implications of H. G. Wells's "The Plattner Story", an account of a schoolmaster who gets blown into the fourth dimension and comes back reversed: his left turned to right, his right to left.



It's pretty clear that the book they're discussing is the then fairly recently published omnibus edition of The Short Stories of H. G. Wells. What I find most interesting about their conversation, though, is Wimsey's throwaway line about knowing it "by heart".

There was a time when this was my favourite book in the world, and I too knew it virtually by heart. In fact, I had a kind of ritual which involved trying to read the whole thing - all 1100-odd pages - in one day, but it's not an experiment I would really recommend.



H. G. Wells: Short Stories (1952)


By then the stories were so familiar to me that I could practically recite them, racing from The Time Machine:
The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.
... all the way through to "A Dream of Armageddon", with its wonderfully poetic last lines:
"Nightmares," he cried; "nightmares indeed! My God! Great birds that fought and tore."


H. G. Wells: Complete Short Stories (1970)


Although it was subsequently reprinted under the title The Complete Short Stories, the collection is by no means that - Wells, after all, had another two decades to live when it first appeared.

The 62 stories (and one essay) are divided into five sections, four of which reprint earlier stand-alone collections of Wells's:
  • The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents [1895]
  • The Plattner Story and Others [1897]
  • Tales of Space and Time [1899]
  • Twelve Stories and a Dream [1903]
The opening section, The Time Machine and Other Stories, never published separately in book form, contains some of his strongest stories, published piecemeal throughout the 1890s. There are also another five separate stories grouped between sections 4 and 5 (for fuller details, see my breakdown of the contents in the Bibliography below).



There is, however, another collection entitled The Complete Short Stories. This one was edited by John Hammmond in 1998. As well as all of the stories included in the 1927 collection - with the exception of the short novel The Time Machine - it includes another 22, most of them previously published in Hammond's 1984 collection The Man With a Nose and Other Uncollected Stories of H. G. Wells.

No doubt further stories will continue to surface from time to time (for more information, see the "H. G. Wells Bibliography" page on Wikipedia), but for all intents and purposes, these 84 stories might as well be thought of as the established canon.

As Dave, one of the commentators on this book on Goodreads, informs us:
This collection tied for 4th on the Arkham Survey for Basic SF titles ... behind “Seven Science Fiction Novels” by H. G. Wells (the winner), Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, and Olaf Stapledon’s “Last and First Men”. It also finished 19th on the 1952 Astounding/Analog All-Time Poll.


H. G. Wells: Seven Science Fiction Novels (1934)


Those seven novels were very well chosen. They consist of:
  1. The First Men in the Moon [1901]
  2. The Island of Dr. Moreau [1896]
  3. The War of the Worlds [1898]
  4. The Invisible Man [1897]
  5. The Time Machine [1895]
  6. The Food of the Gods [1904]
  7. In the Days of the Comet [1906]
It's hard to imagine a more influential set of titles. Between them they introduced virtually every standard trope of the SF genre as it would develop over the next hundred years: space travel, time travel, alien invasion, utopian futures, genetic manipulation ... pretty much everything except robots (which would be added to the mix by Czech writer Karel Čapek's play R.U.R in 1920).



The dazzling talent of the young Wells seemed destined to sweep everything before it. As C. S. Lewis once quipped, however, as time went on he increasingly "traded his birthright for a pot of message" (if you don't get the pun, it's probably because you weren't brought up on the Authorised Version of the Bible. In the Book of Genesis, Esau trades his birthright to Jacob "for a mess of pottage"). Har-de-har-har. Maybe you had to be there ...

His later work does seem to lack the zest of those remarkable works of his first decade as a writer, but he remains one of the great sages and pathfinders for all subsequent work in the field of Speculative Fiction. The fact that he moved so easily from social satire to straight science fiction to the fantastic and supernatural (something very few of his successors succeeded in doing) meant that he avoided being typecast as a 'genre' writer. Though the sheer clarity and power of his prose also had a lot to do with that.

In 1930 Odhams Press published a 12-volume edition of his selected fiction which covered most of his major work in that form:



Odhams: H. G. Wells Collection (1930)


The H. G. Wells Collection. 12 vols. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930]:
  1. The Invisible Man / The Secret Places of the Heart / God the Invisible King (1897, 1922 & 1917)
  2. Love and Mr Lewisham / Marriage (1900 & 1912)
  3. The First Men in the Moon / The World Set Free (1901 & 1914)
  4. Kipps / The Research Magnificent (1905 & 1915)
  5. Tono-Bungay / A Modern Utopia (1909 & 1905)
  6. The History of Mr Polly / The War in the Air (1910 & 1908)
  7. The Sleeper Awakes / Men Like Gods (1910 & 1923)
  8. The New Machiavelli / The Food of the Gods (1911 & 1904)
  9. The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman / The Dream (1914 & 1924)
  10. Mr Britling Sees it Through / In the Days of the Comet (1916 & 1906)
  11. Joan and Peter: A Story of an Education / "The Country of the Blind" / "Jimmy Goggles the God" / "Mr Brisher’s Treasure" (1918, 1904, 1898 & 1899)
  12. Collected Short Stories (1927)




H. G. Wells: The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)


I suppose, if I had to choose myself from this gallery of masterpieces, the one I would go for would be The Island of Doctor Moreau. It's been filmed - badly - on more than one occasion (most recently with Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando in the principal roles), but the book itself has a haunting, nightmarish quality which completely entranced me when I first read it as a teenager.



John Frankenheimer, dir.: The Island of Doctor Moreau (1996)


The figure of the mad scientist, tampering with God's work without fear or scruple, who consequently gets his comeuppance, comes to us straight from Frankenstein, of course. But the colonial setting transfers it into the morally compromised world of the early Conrad: Almayer's Folly (1895), say, or An Outcast of the Islands (1896).



Don Taylor, dir.: The Island of Doctor Moreau (1977)


There are many themes jostling for dominance in this strange early story of Wells's: colonialism and colonial exploitation principal - in my view, at least - among them. One could almost see it as a counterblast to Kipling's Jungle Books (1894-1895). The strange parodic chants the half-animals live by certainly recall some of the stories and songs of Mowgli and his various brethren.



Big Finish: The Island of Doctor Moreau (2017)


The colonial theme continues to recur in Wells's later fiction: in The First Men in the Moon (1901) and - perhaps most explicitly - Tono-Bungay (1909). I suppose the thing which makes Wells's early fiction so durable, in fact, is its refusal to simplify or avoid difficult questions of exploitation and brutality.

Later, of course, when he became a sage, he seems to have felt a responsibility to the 'left' in general which put him in strange company: co-authoring a book with Josef Stalin is not something most of us would want on our CV. Expediency and responsibility choked the initial outrage he felt - as a writer - at injustice and cruelty, just as personal prosperity gradually robbed his social satire of its edge.

The important thing about H. G. Wells, though, is not so much that he went off the rails a bit in his later years, as the extraordinary heights he had to fall from. I would argue strongly that the best place to start is by reading the original edition of The Stories of H. G. Wells, in any of its innumerable reprints. After that, the Seven Science Fiction Novels of 1934 will supply most of the rest of his truly durable work.



H. G. Wells: The History of Mr Polly (1910)


Mind you, this leaves out a number of excellent contemporary novels - Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, for instance. The Sleeper Awakes and The War in the Air should probably have been included among the best of his early Science Fiction novels, too.



Henri Lanos: When the Sleeper Wakes (1899)




The recent news that the Royal Mint has just issued a special coin commemorating 75 years since H. G. Wells's death certainly confirms his continuing importance in British (and world) culture. On the other hand, certain errors on the coin - documented at length by various critics - show how little accurate knowledge of his work people actually have:
As the name suggests, the tripod only had three legs in Wells' novel. "How many people did this have to go through? Did they know how to count? Do they know what the "tri" prefix means??" artist Holly Humphries asked on Twitter.


The War of the Worlds (2018)
[Note the three legs and flexible limbs in the illustration above]


Not only this, but the portrait of the 'invisible man' on the coin has also drawn criticism:
Fans were also disappointed by the appearance of a top hat, supposedly in homage to Wells' book "The Invisible Man." The scientist Griffin, the titular Invisible Man, "was no gentleman, and did not wear a top hat," [Adam Roberts, vice-president of the H.G. Wells Society,] said.
"I suspect the designer has been influenced consciously or otherwise by DC Comics' 'Gentleman Ghost' - but he had nothing to do with Wells."


Here, however, I would have to take issue with the critics, whose knowledge of Victorian mores may not be quite so profound as they think. The original drawing above, by Wells himself, in a presentation copy of the book's first edition, clearly shows the invisible man in a top hat.

To complete the hat-trick, another flaw was spotted by Roberts, who said:
"The legend written around the rim of the coin, 'GOOD BOOKS ARE THE WAREHOUSES OF IDEAS', is (though it's sometimes attributed to Wells by various internet quote-sites) not an actual quotation by Wells."
Chris Costello, the coin's designer, remains defiant, insisting that "he was intentionally reinterpreting imagery from Wells' works for a modern audience."
"The characters in 'War of the Worlds' have been depicted many times, and I wanted to create something original and contemporary," he said.
"My design takes inspiration from a variety of machines featured in the book - including tripods and the handling machines which have five jointed legs and multiple appendages. The final design combines multiple stories into one stylized and unified composition that is emblematic of all of H.G. Well's (sic) work and fits the unique canvas of a coin."
I'll certainly grant that the choice of a four-legged tripod is "original" (though possibly somewhat misguided), and I don't think any responsibility can be laid at Costello's door for the probably spurious quotation, so I suppose the whole affair remains more a cause for celebration than carping criticism. I do wish, though, that artists would make a point of always - not just sometimes - reading the books they've been asked to illustrate.



Bernard Bergonzi: The Early H. G. Wells (1961)






George Charles Beresford: H. G. Wells (1920)

Herbert George Wells
(1866-1946)


    Novels:

  1. The Time Machine (1895)
    • The Short Stories of H. G. Wells. 1927. London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1952.
  2. The Wonderful Visit (1895)
  3. The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)
    • The Island of Doctor Moreau. 1896. A Magnum Easy Eye Book. New York: Lancer Books, Inc., 1968.
  4. The Wheels of Chance (1896)
  5. The Invisible Man (1897)
    • The Invisible Man / The Secret Places of the Heart / God the Invisible King. 1897, 1922 & 1917. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  6. The War of the Worlds (1898)
    • The War of the Worlds. 1898. Penguin Science Fiction. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963.
  7. When the Sleeper Wakes (1899)
    • When the Sleeper Wakes. 1899. London: Macmillan & Co. Limited, 1906.
  8. Love and Mr Lewisham (1900)
    • Love and Mr Lewisham / Marriage. 1900 & 1912. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
    • Love and Mr Lewisham. 1900. Introduction by Frank Wells. 1954. Collins Classics. London & Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1959.
  9. The First Men in the Moon (1901)
    • The First Men in the Moon / The World Set Free. 1901 & 1914. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
    • The First Men in the Moon. 1901. Introduction by Frank Wells. Fontana Books. London: Collins Clear-Type press, 1966.
  10. The Sea Lady (1902)
    • The Sea Lady: A Tissue of Moonshine. 1902. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1948.
  11. The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth (1904)
    • The Food of the Gods. 1904. Introduction by Ronald Seth. Collins Classics. London & Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1955.
  12. Kipps (1905)
    • Kipps / The Research Magnificent. 1905 & 1915. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  13. A Modern Utopia (1905)
    • Tono-Bungay / A Modern Utopia. 1909 & 1905. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  14. In the Days of the Comet (1906)
    • Mr Britling Sees it Through / In the Days of the Comet. 1916 & 1906. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  15. The War in the Air (1908)
    • The History of Mr Polly / The War in the Air. 1910 & 1908. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  16. Tono-Bungay (1909)
    • Tono-Bungay / A Modern Utopia. 1909 & 1905. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  17. Ann Veronica (1909)
    • Ann Veronica. 1909. Penguin Books 2887. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968.
  18. The History of Mr Polly (1910)
    • The History of Mr Polly / The War in the Air. 1910 & 1908. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
    • The History of Mr Polly. 1910. Ed. A. C. Ward. The Heritage of Literature Series. London: Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd., 1959.
  19. The Sleeper Awakes (1910)
    • The Sleeper Awakes / Men Like Gods. 1910 & 1923. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  20. The New Machiavelli (1911)
    • The New Machiavelli. 1911. Penguin Books 575. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1946.
  21. Marriage (1912)
    • Love and Mr Lewisham / Marriage. 1900 & 1912. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  22. The Passionate Friends (1913)
    • The Passionate Friends. 1913. London: George Newnes, Limited, n.d.
  23. The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman (1914)
    • The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman / The Dream. 1914 & 1924. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  24. The World Set Free (1914)
    • The First Men in the Moon / The World Set Free. 1901 & 1914. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  25. Bealby: A Holiday (1915)
    • Bealby: A Holiday. 1915. London: George Newnes, Limited, n.d.
  26. [as Reginald Bliss] Boon (1915)
  27. The Research Magnificent (1915)
    • Kipps / The Research Magnificent. 1905 & 1915. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  28. Mr Britling Sees It Through (1916)
    • Mr Britling Sees it Through / In the Days of the Comet. 1916 & 1906. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  29. The Soul of a Bishop (1917)
  30. Joan and Peter: The Story of an Education (1918)
    • Joan and Peter: A Story of an Education / The Country of the Blind / Jimmy Goggles the God / Mr Brisher’s Treasure. 1918, 1904, 1898 & 1899. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  31. The Undying Fire (1919)
  32. The Secret Places of the Heart (1922)
    • The Invisible Man / The Secret Places of the Heart / God the Invisible King. 1897, 1922 & 1917. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  33. Men Like Gods (1923)
    • The Sleeper Awakes / Men Like Gods. 1910 & 1923. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  34. The Dream (1924)
    • The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman / The Dream. 1914 & 1924. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  35. Christina Alberta's Father (1925)
  36. The World of William Clissold (1926)
  37. Meanwhile (1927)
  38. Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island (1928)
    • Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island. London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1928.
  39. The Autocracy of Mr. Parham (1930)
  40. The Bulpington of Blup (1932)
  41. The Shape of Things to Come (1933)
    • The Shape of Things to Come. 1933. Corgi SF Collector’s Library. London: Transworld Publishers Ltd., 1974.
  42. Things to Come: A Film Story Based on the Material Contained in His History of the Future “The Shape of Things to Come.” (1936)
    • Things to Come: A Film Story Based on the Material Contained in His History of the Future “The Shape of Things to Come.” 1935. London: The Cresset Press, 1936.
  43. The Croquet Player (1936)
  44. Brynhild (1937)
  45. Star Begotten: A Biological Fantasia (1937)
    • Star Begotten: A Biological Fantasia. 1937. Sphere Science Fiction. London: sphere Books Ltd., 1977.
  46. The Camford Visitation (1937)
  47. Apropos of Dolores (1938)
  48. The Brothers (1938)
  49. The Holy Terror (1939)
  50. Babes in the Darkling Wood (1940)
  51. All Aboard for Ararat (1940)
  52. You Can't Be Too Careful (1941)

  53. Short Stories:

  54. The Short Stories. 1927. London: Ernest Benn, 1948:

      The Time Machine and Other Stories

    1. The Time Machine
    2. The Empire of the Ants
    3. A Vision of Judgement
    4. The Land Ironclads
    5. The Beautiful Suit
    6. The Door in the Wall
    7. The Pearl of Love
    8. The Country of the Blind

    9. The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents [1895]

    10. The Stolen Bacillus
    11. The Flowering of the Strange Orchid
    12. In the Avu Observatory
    13. The Triumphs of a Taxidermist
    14. A Deal in Ostriches
    15. Through a Window
    16. The Temptation of Harringay
    17. The Flying Man
    18. The Diamond Maker
    19. Æpyornis Island
    20. The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes
    21. The Lord of the Dynamos
    22. The Hammerpond Park Burglary
    23. The Moth
    24. The Treasure in the Forest

    25. The Plattner Story and Others [1897]

    26. The Plattner Story
    27. The Argonauts of the Air
    28. The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham
    29. In the Abyss
    30. The Apple
    31. Under the Knife
    32. The Sea-Raiders
    33. Pollock and the Porroh Man
    34. The Red Room
    35. The Cone
    36. The Purple Pileus
    37. The Jilting of Jane
    38. In the Modern Vein: An Unsympathetic Love Story
    39. A Catastrophe
    40. The Lost Inheritance
    41. The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic
    42. A Slip Under the Microscope

    43. The Reconciliation
    44. My First Aeroplane
    45. Little Mother Up the Mörderberg
    46. The Story of the Last Trump
    47. The Grisly Folk

    48. Tales of Space and Time [1899]

    49. The Crystal Egg
    50. The Star
    51. A Story of the Stone Age
    52. A Story of the Days to Come
    53. The Man Who Could Work Miracles

    54. Twelve Stories and a Dream [1903]

    55. Filmer
    56. The Magic Shop
    57. The Valley of Spiders
    58. The Truth About Pyecraft
    59. Mr. Skelmersdale in Fairyland
    60. The Inexperienced Ghost
    61. Jimmy Goggles the God
    62. The New Accelerator
    63. Mr. Ledbetter's Vacation
    64. The Stolen Body
    65. Mr. Brisher's Treasure
    66. Miss Winchelsea's Heart
    67. A Dream of Armageddon

  55. The Complete Short Stories. Ed. John Hammmond. 1998. London: Phoenix, 1999:

      The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents [1895]

    1. The Stolen Bacillus
    2. The Flowering of the Strange Orchid
    3. In the Avu Observatory
    4. The Triumphs of a Taxidermist
    5. A Deal in Ostriches
    6. Through a Window
    7. The Temptation of Harringay
    8. The Flying Man
    9. The Diamond Maker
    10. Æpyornis Island
    11. The Remarkable Case of Davidson's Eyes
    12. The Lord of the Dynamos
    13. The Hammerpond Park Burglary
    14. The Moth
    15. The Treasure in the Forest

    16. The Plattner Story and Others [1897]

    17. The Plattner Story
    18. The Argonauts of the Air
    19. The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham
    20. In the Abyss
    21. The Apple
    22. Under the Knife
    23. The Sea-Raiders
    24. Pollock and the Porroh Man
    25. The Red Room
    26. The Cone
    27. The Purple Pileus
    28. The Jilting of Jane
    29. In the Modern Vein: An Unsympathetic Love Story
    30. A Catastrophe
    31. The Lost Inheritance
    32. The Sad Story of a Dramatic Critic
    33. A Slip Under the Microscope

    34. Tales of Space and Time [1899]

    35. The Crystal Egg
    36. The Star
    37. A Story of the Stone Age
    38. A Story of the Days to Come
    39. The Man Who Could Work Miracles

    40. Twelve Stories and a Dream [1903]

    41. Filmer
    42. The Magic Shop
    43. The Valley of Spiders
    44. The Truth About Pyecraft
    45. Mr. Skelmersdale in Fairyland
    46. The Inexperienced Ghost
    47. Jimmy Goggles the God
    48. The New Accelerator
    49. Mr. Ledbetter's Vacation
    50. The Stolen Body
    51. Mr. Brisher's Treasure
    52. Miss Winchelsea's Heart
    53. A Dream of Armageddon

    54. The Door in the Wall and Other Stories

    55. The Door in the Wall
    56. The Empire of the Ants
    57. A Vision of Judgment
    58. The Land Ironclads
    59. The Beautiful Suit
    60. The Pearl of Love
    61. The Country of the Blind
    62. The Reconciliation
    63. My First Aeroplane (Little Mother series #1)
    64. Little Mother Up the Mörderberg (Little Mother series #2)
    65. The Story of the Last Trump
    66. The Grisly Folk

    67. Uncollected Stories

    68. A Tale of the Twentieth Century: For Advanced Thinkers
    69. Walcote
    70. The Devotee of Art
    71. The Man with a Nose
    72. A Perfect Gentleman on Wheels
    73. Wayde's Essence
    74. A Misunderstood Artist
    75. Le Mari Terrible
    76. The Rajah's Treasure
    77. The Presence by the Fire
    78. Mr Marshall's Doppelganger
    79. The Thing in No. 7
    80. The Thumbmark
    81. A Family Elopement
    82. Our Little Neighbour
    83. How Gabriel Became Thompson
    84. How Pingwill Was Routed
    85. The Loyalty of Esau Common: A Fragment
    86. The Wild Asses of the Devil
    87. Answer to Prayer
    88. The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper
    89. The Country of the Blind (revised version)

  56. Non-Fiction:

  57. Text-Book of Biology (1893)
  58. [with R. A. Gregory] Honours Physiography (1893)
  59. Certain Personal Matters (1897)
  60. Anticipations of the Reactions of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901)
  61. Mankind in the Making (1903)
  62. The Future in America (1906)
  63. This Misery of Boots (1907)
  64. Will Socialism Destroy the Home? (1907)
  65. New Worlds for Old (1908)
  66. First and Last Things (1908)
  67. Floor Games (1911)
  68. The Great State (1912)
  69. Thoughts From H. G. Wells (1912)
  70. Little Wars (1913)
  71. The War That Will End War (1914)
  72. An Englishman Looks at the World (1914)
  73. The War and Socialism (1915)
  74. The Peace of the World (1915)
  75. What is Coming? (1916)
  76. [as 'D. P.] The Elements of Reconstruction (1916)
  77. God the Invisible King (1917)
    • The Invisible Man / The Secret Places of the Heart / God the Invisible King. 1897, 1922 & 1917. H. G. Wells Collection. London: Odhams Press Limited, [1930].
  78. War and the Future (1917)
  79. Introduction to Nocturne (1917)
  80. In the Fourth Year (1918)
  81. [with Viscount Edward Grey, Lionel Curtis, William Archer, H. Wickham Steed, A. E. Zimmern, J. A. Spender, Viscount Bryce & Gilbert Murray] The Idea of a League of Nations (1919)
  82. The Outline of History (1920)
  83. Russia in the Shadows (1920)
  84. [with Arnold Bennett & Grant Overton] Frank Swinnerton (1920)
  85. The Salvaging of Civilization (1921)
  86. A Short History of the World (1922)
    • A Short History of the World. 1922. Rev. ed. A Pelican Book. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1938.
  87. Washington and the Hope of Peace (1922)
  88. Socialism and the Scientific Motive (1923)
  89. The Story of a Great Schoolmaster: Being a Plain Account of the Life and Ideas of Sanderson of Oundle (1924)
  90. A Year of Prophesying (1925)
  91. A Short History of Mankind (1925)
  92. Mr. Belloc Objects to "The Outline of History" (1926)
  93. Wells' Social Anticipations (1927)
  94. The Way the World is Going (1928)
  95. The Book of Catherine Wells (1928)
  96. The Open Conspiracy (1928)
  97. [with Julian S. Huxley & G. P. Wells] The Science of Life (1930)
  98. Divorce as I See It (1930)
  99. Points of View (1930)
  100. The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (1931)
  101. The New Russia (1931)
  102. Selections From the Early Prose Works of H. G. Wells (1931)
  103. What Should be Done — Now: A Memorandum on the World Situation (1932)
  104. After Democracy (1932)
  105. [with J. V. Stalin] Marxism vs Liberalism (1934)
  106. Experiment in Autobiography (1934)
    • Experiment in Autobiography: Discoveries and Conclusions of a Very Ordinary Brain (Since 1886). 1934. 2 vols. Jonathan Cape Paperback JCP 64-65. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1969.
  107. The New America: The New World (1935)
  108. The Anatomy of Frustration (1936)
  109. World Brain (1938)
  110. The Fate of Homo Sapiens (1939)
  111. The New World Order (1939)
  112. Travels of a Republican Radical in Search of Hot Water (1939)
  113. The Common Sense of War and Peace (1940)
  114. The Rights of Man (1940)
  115. The Pocket History of the World (1941)
  116. Guide to the New World (1941)
  117. The Outlook for Homo Sapiens (1942)
  118. The Conquest of Time (1942)
  119. [with Lev Uspensky] Modern Russian and English Revolutionaries (1942)
  120. Phoenix: A Summary of the Inescapable Conditions of World Reorganization (1942)
  121. Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church (1943)
  122. '42 to '44: A Contemporary Memoir (1944)
  123. [with J. B. S. Haldane & Julian S. Huxley] Reshaping Man's Heritage (1944)
  124. The Happy Turning (1945)
  125. Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945)
  126. Early Writings in Science and Science Fiction (1975)

  127. Secondary:

  128. Bergonzi, Bernard. The Early H. G. Wells: A Study of the Scientific Romances. Manchester, 1961.
  129. Dickson, Lovat. H. G. Wells: His Turbulent Life and Times. 1969. London: Readers Union Limited / Macmillan and Company Limited, 1971.
  130. Ray, Gordon N. H. G. Wells & Rebecca West. 1974. London: Macmillan London Limited, 1974.
  131. West, Anthony. H. G. Wells: Aspects of a Life. 1984. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.






Anthony West: H. G. Wells: Aspects of a Life (1984)


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