Modern Utopia

( 17 )

Overview

"Well's uncanny ability to highlight the problems which are now most acute and supply tentative solutions that allow a maximum of individual freedom merits serious consideration. Recommended reading for students and teachers dealing with government, science, and the contemporary dilemma of a world facing war, famine, and racial unrest."-Choice
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A Modern Utopia

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Overview

"Well's uncanny ability to highlight the problems which are now most acute and supply tentative solutions that allow a maximum of individual freedom merits serious consideration. Recommended reading for students and teachers dealing with government, science, and the contemporary dilemma of a world facing war, famine, and racial unrest."-Choice
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This trio are from Wells's utopian writings, which generally chronicle a future society of potential greatness that has failed its mission and gone to seed. Not as posh as the "Deluxe Classics Editions," these nonetheless feature many nice extras, including scholarly introductions. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592245574
  • Publisher: Wildside Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

H. G. Wells

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady’s maid. Although "Bertie" left school at fourteen to become a draper’s apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893. In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher’s salary. His other "scientific romances"—The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908)—won him distinction as the father of science fiction.

Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase "the war that will end war" to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: "Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me."

Francis Wheen is a journalist, author, and broadcaster.

Gregory Claeys is a historian at the University of Royal Holloway, London.

Gregory Claeys is a historian at the University of Royal Holloway, London.

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 3
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(8)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2011

    recommended if you are a Wells fan

    My only complaint is that the other reviewer can't be complained on. Perhaps if Rosie could spell then she wouldn't have a difficult time reading? To those who are Wells fans, this is going to be one you will like.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Greatest book of all

    Such a revealing story, we might learn something from it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    Poor quality, but it's free

    Quite a few errors

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Grear book but.....

    There are a few typos but in genral it is a very good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Faulty scanning

    Unfortunately, I believe this book was not only scanned, the scanned images were translated into text by a computer. Any text that was illegible was then filled in by an educated guess by the machine. This led to bad translations and illegible print.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    Unreadable

    I can deal with imperfections but something is messed up with this copy. Maybe it was OK before but it is unreadable now.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Corrupt file??

    I think there's something wrong with this ebook. It doesn't look right.... like trying to read a Mac file on a PC.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Completly unreadable.

    So many typoes and misplaced sentances as to be impossible to read. For shame puting something like this out like this! Did anyone even look at this prior to publishing? Would give negative stars if i could. A disgrace to the work of wells. Once more, for shame.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted November 24, 2011

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    Posted March 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

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    Posted April 15, 2011

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    Posted April 5, 2011

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    Posted August 11, 2011

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    Posted June 25, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2010

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    Posted March 31, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 17 Customer Reviews

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