Herbert George Wells

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Herbert George Wells

Herbert George Wells was one of the world's most talented writers. He was able to write in many styles, whether it be science-fiction or nonfiction. Although talented in many areas and genres of the literary world, it is for his contribution to the realm of science-fiction that he will always be remembered. H. G. Wells is known as "The Shakespeare of Science-Fiction." He is one of the writers that gave credibility to a rising new genre of science-fiction, or Scientific Romance as it was first called in the late 19th century (the genre was not called science-fiction until 1929, (Wells, H. G. The War of the Worlds: viii)). Herbert George Wells was born on September 21, 1866, in a "shabby home," as Wells himself once called it, in Bromley, Kent, England to Joseph Wells and Sarah Neal Wells (Borrello, Alfred: 2). He had two older brothers, Frank and Fred. His family was poor but "shabby-genteel" (H. G. Wells: A Collection of Critical Essays: 3). Wells's father sold china and played professional cricket, and his mother was a housekeeper to the gentry, Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh. Though devoted to his parents, he viewed them as "willing victims of society" (Borrello, Alfred: 2). He was angry at their refusal to take effective measures to improve their place in life. And it was because of this that he did not care for the working class and envied the solidly established middle class. As a boy H. G. Wells had always been physically active, but after he broke his leg at the age of 8 in 1874, he couldn't do too much. During his period of convalescence he turned to books for the first time. When Herbert's mother went to work at the gentry's house, she took Herbert with her (his older brothers were apprenticed into the drapery trade). Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh had a large variety and number of books. With this large availability of new books, Wells's reading broadened. From 1884-1887 he was a student at Normal School of Science, London. There he studied biology under the well-known Thomas H. Huxley. In the early 1890s, Wells started teaching science classes, which led him to write a biology textbook. He also started writing articles in the popular magazines that were beginning to pop up everywhere. At the invitation of one of the editors, he began writing science-fiction stories in the mid 1890s.
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