H.G. Wells: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

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Overview

Immensely popular during his lifetime, H. G. Wells, along with Jules Verne, is credited with inventing science fiction. This new volume Wells’s best-loved and most critically acclaimed works. In each, the author grounds his fantastical imagination in scientific fact and conjecture while lacing his narrative with vibrant action, not merely to tell a “ripping yarn,” but to offer a biting critique on the world around him. “The strength of Mr. Wells,” wrote Arnold Bennett, “lies in the fact that he is not only a ...

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Overview

Immensely popular during his lifetime, H. G. Wells, along with Jules Verne, is credited with inventing science fiction. This new volume Wells’s best-loved and most critically acclaimed works. In each, the author grounds his fantastical imagination in scientific fact and conjecture while lacing his narrative with vibrant action, not merely to tell a “ripping yarn,” but to offer a biting critique on the world around him. “The strength of Mr. Wells,” wrote Arnold Bennett, “lies in the fact that he is not only a scientist, but a most talented student of character, especially quaint character. He will not only ingeniously describe for you a scientific miracle, but he will set down that miracle in the midst of a country village, sketching with excellent humor the inn-landlady, the blacksmith, the chemist’s apprentice, the doctor, and all the other persons whom the miracle affects.”

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Product Details

Meet the Author

H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe," H. G. Wells once said. Widely revered as the father of science fiction, the English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian penned ominous -- and educated -- glimpses at humanity's possible future, including The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).

Biography

Social philosopher, utopian, novelist, and "father" of science fiction and science fantasy, Herbert George Wells was born on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent. His father was a poor businessman, and young Bertie's mother had to work as a lady's maid. Living "below stairs" with his mother at an estate called Uppark, Bertie would sneak into the grand library to read Plato, Swift, and Voltaire, authors who deeply influenced his later works. He shoed literary and artistic talent in his early stories and paintings, but the family had limited means, and when he was fourteen years old, Bertie was sent as an apprentice to a dealer in cloth and dry goods, work he disliked.

He held jobs in other trades before winning a scholarship to study biology at the Normal School of Science in London. The eminent biologist T. H. Huxley, a friend and proponent of Darwin, was his teacher; about him Wells later said, "I believed then he was the greatest man I was ever likely to meet." Under Huxley's influence, Wells learned the science that would inspire many of his creative works and cultivated the skepticism about the likelihood of human progress that would infuse his writing.

Teaching, textbook writing, and journalism occupied Wells until 1895, when he made his literary debut with the now-legendary novel The Time Machine, which was followed before the end of the century by The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, books that established him as a major writer. Fiercely critical of Victorian mores, he published voluminously, in fiction and nonfiction, on the subject of politics and social philosophy. Biological evolution does not ensure moral progress, as Wells would repeat throughout his life, during which he witnessed two world wars and the debasement of science for military and political ends.

In addition to social commentary presented in the guise of science fiction, Wells authored comic novels like Love and Mrs. Lewisham, Kipps, and The History of Mister Polly that are Dickensian in their scope and feeling, and a feminist novel, Ann Veronica. He wrote specific social commentary in The New Machiavelli, an attack on the socialist Fabian Society, which he had joined and then rejected, and literary parody (of Henry James) in Boon. He wrote textbooks of biology, and his massive The Outline of History was a major international bestseller.

By the time Wells reached middle age, he was admired around the world, and he used his fame to promote his utopian vision, warning that the future promised "Knowledge or extinction." He met with such preeminent political figures as Lenin, Roosevelt, and Stalin, and continued to publish, travel, and educate during his final years. Herbert George Wells died in London on August 13, 1946.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The War of the Worlds.

Good To Know

In 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel. However, he eventually left her for one of his brightest students, Amy Catherine, whom he married in 1895.

Wells was once interviewed on the radio by an extremely nervous Orson Welles. The two are unrelated, of course.

Many of Wells's novels became film adaptations, including The Island of Dr. Moreau, filmed in 1996 by Richard Stanley and John Frankenheimer, and The Time Machine, filmed in 2002 by Wells's great-grandson, Simon Wells.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Herbert George Wells (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1866
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bromley, Kent, England
    1. Date of Death:
      August 13, 1946
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

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(22)

4 Star

(6)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very nice compilation

    Received this from my daughter for Christmas. The edition looks nice and is put together well. HG Wells is an under-appreciated author to this day. This book has 7 of his great works, including my two personal favoraites- The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Invisible Man. It also includes The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, Fisrt Men In the Moon, Food of the Gods and In the Days of the Comet. Wells used his science fiction tales as cautionary comments on society and they can get a little dense. But he did create memorable ideas and characters that stick with you. His adventures don't soar as high as Jules Verne's did, but there is a greater depth than most of Verne's work.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2010

    Font Size

    Beware, these are seven stories that are larger than life, but if the font were any smaller I would have to use a magnifying glass, or a microscope. Don Ho thought bubbles were tiny!

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    So far I've only read "The Invisible Man," and it was great! I look forward to reading more of the stories. The cover is beautiful, and the price per book is so cheap! Less than $3 per book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    First off, I think the cover work is fitting. It's not all gloss

    First off, I think the cover work is fitting. It's not all glossy and glamorous- this is Wells we're talking about, not some ritzy less-than-impressive author. Second, I didn't find the font to be too small. I think it's just right and I don't have perfect eye vision. Third, the stories are breathtaking and rich in detail. H.G. Wells is my new favorite author after this purchase. As a 19 year old in this day and age, I think that says a lot. (=

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    I absolutely love this comp! While it took me a while to fully g

    I absolutely love this comp!
    While it took me a while to fully get into these books, I found the story lines compelling and amazing to read. They were intensely interesting and although some of them can start a little slow, I ended up enjoying all of them. Overall, I would recommend these to anyone and everyone who enjoys science fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    I highly recommend this, as well as all the others in this Leatherbound Classics series!

    Rarely do you see these classic pieces of literature rendered with such sophisticated elegance and beauty, faithfully honoring and respecting the equally unique, creative literary material loved by generations of readers. I have been enjoying them all, and eagerly look forward to each new addition to the series.

    Hopefully, the publisher (who appears to be unreachable) will keep releasing more of these fine collected works, including such classic writers as Baum, Milne, Kipling, Twain, London, Melville, Hemingway, Stoker, Shelley, as well as other poets like Virgil, Longfellow, Keats, Eliot, Hawthorne, and Blake.

    Time will tell, but hope is alive. Get on board with these fantastic masterpieces of literature, and be swept away in worlds of imagination!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

    B-MOVIE COVER

    THE INVISIBLE MAN AND THE TIME MACHINE ARE DEFINITE CLASSICS. THE COVER OF THIS BOOK LOOKS WAY TO GAUCHE TO BE SITTING NEXT TO ALL OF MY OTHER LEATHERBOUND CLASSICS.

    1 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Why we read.

    H.G. Wells really know how to tell a story.
    There are seven wonderful tales of adventure in this fascinating book and each tale holds your attention right to the very end. Each story is so well written by this great author that you can't put the book down until you finish each story.
    A wonderful book at such a wonderful price!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 30, 2010

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