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  • © 2019

H G Wells

A Literary Life

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Authored by one of the world's foremost science-fiction critics

  • Constitutes one of the only literary biographies of this widely-studied and much-loved writer

  • Groups chronological accounts of Wells' life and his writing into seven sections: autobiography, science fiction, the mainstream novel, journalism, utopia, celebrity and posthumous impact

Part of the book series: Literary Lives (LL)

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eBook USD 19.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-26421-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
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  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 24.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (26 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. Childhood

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 1-18
  3. Short Fiction

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 19-39
  4. Science Fiction

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 41-57
  5. Bicycles and Tripods

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 59-74
  6. A New Century

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 75-101
  7. Anticipations

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 103-119
  8. Kipps: A Study in Artistry

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 121-134
  9. Sex

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 135-145
  10. Socialism and America

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 147-161
  11. Amber Reeves

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 163-187
  12. Tono-Bungay (1909)

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 189-202
  13. Mr Polly (1910)

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 203-212
  14. Elizabeth von Arnim

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 213-231
  15. War

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 233-246
  16. Boon and Bealby

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 247-259
  17. Rebecca West

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 261-269
  18. Mr Wells Sees Through It

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 271-283
  19. League of Nations

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 285-294
  20. Education

    • Adam Roberts
    Pages 295-302

About this book

This is the first new complete literary biography of H G Wells for thirty years, and the first to encompass his entire career as a writer, from the science fiction of the 1890s through his fiction and non-fiction writing all the way up to his last publication in 1946. Adam Roberts provides a comprehensive reassessment of Wells’ importance as a novelist, short-story writer, a theorist of social prophecy and utopia, journalist and commentator, offering a nuanced portrait of the man who coined the phrases ‘atom bomb’, ‘League of Nations’ ‘the war to end war’ and ‘time machine’, who wrote the world’s first comprehensive global history and invented the idea of the tank. In these twenty-six chapters, Roberts covers the entirety of Wells’ life and discusses every book and short story he produced, delivering a complete vision of this enduring figure.


Keywords

  • Science fiction
  • Dystopia
  • Fin-de-siècle
  • War of the Worlds
  • The Time Machine
  • Biography
  • British and Irish Literature

Reviews

“This is not a scholarly study but an account of a personal engagement with the oeuvre of a great writer who has fallen out of favor with the reading public for many reasons, one of which is that several of his masterworks were almost submerged under a flood of topical, polemical writing intended to have an immediate impact and a short shelf life.” (Nicholas Ruddick, Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 48, 2021)

“H. G. Wells: A Literary Life by Adam Roberts is a rich and provocative feast for students of Wells, novice and specialist alike. … his book represents a significant contribution to our understanding of Wells’s genius.” (The Wellsian - The Journal of the H. G. Wells Society, Vol. 43, 2020)

“Strikingly perceptive, often controversial, Adam Roberts's intricate readings of Wells's fiction and non-fiction do much to recapture the fascination that Wells exercised for a world-wide audience from the publication of The Time Machine in 1895 to his death some fifty years later. This is a compelling though never uncritical account of Wells's irrepressible energy, his human insights, and—above all—his immense and under-appreciated contribution to 20th-century literature.” (Patrick Parrinder, President, H. G. Wells Society)

“Adam Roberts' new study of H G Wells, based on a reading of all of Wells' six decades of writing, is unprecedented, invaluable—and unputdownable. Comprehensive, wise, provocative, and searingly honest, this is a monumental achievement in scholarship - as well as an enthralling read. You can almost hear the voice of Wells himself murmuring from the shade.” (Stephen Baxter, Vice-President of the International H G Wells Society and author of The Time Ships (1995))

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK

    Adam Roberts

About the author

Adam Roberts is Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature and Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, and also an award-winning writer of science fiction. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Vice-President of the H G Wells Society.



          

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 19.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-26421-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 24.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)