Life In Brief: H.G. Wells

21 September 1866: Herbert George (H.G.) Wells born in Bromley to an impoverished family (of six)

1874:                         …breaks his leg in an accident and takes to reading out of boredom

1874-80:                   …studies at Thomas Morley’s Commercial Academy

1881:                         …apprenticed to a draper for two years of 13-hour days, sleeps in a dormitory

1880-93:                    …finds great literature by way of his mother’s position at Uppark

1884:                         …after a year as a pupil-teacher at Midhurst Grammar School, wins scholarship

1888:                        …publishes precursor to The Time Machine (1895) in college magazine

1889-90:                   …teaches future Winnie the Poo author, among others, at Henley House School

1890:                       …receives B.A. degree in zoology, after earlier taking a teaching diploma

1891:                       …marries his cousin Isabel Mary Wells

1895:                       …marries a student, Amy Catherine Robbins, after separating from Isabel

1895-1900:             …publishes many “scientific romances” including The War of the Worlds

1901:                       …publishes first non-fiction bestseller, looking forward to the year 2000

1909:                       …resigns from the Fabian Society, blaming their failure to advance socialism

1909:                       …produces Ann Veronica and a daughter with writer Amber Reeves, Anne-Jane

1914:                      …predicts atomic bomb; fathers third son, first with journalist Rebecca West

1920:                       …publishes The Outline of History as a global bestseller

1933:                      …predicts that a world war will begin in 1940 in The Shape of Things to Come

1941:                       Orwell credits Wells with creating the 20th century’s new “thinking people”

13 August 1946: … dies having requested the epitaph: “I told you so. You damned fools.”

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