From acclaimed literary biographer Claire Tomalin, a complex and fascinating exploration of the early life of the influential writer and public figure H. G. Wells
How did the first forty years of H. G. Wells's life shape the father of science fiction?
From his impoverished childhood in a working-class English family and determination to educate himself at any cost to his complicated marriages, love affair with socialism, and the serious ill health that dominated his twenties and thirties, H. G. Wells's extraordinary early life would set him on a path to become one of the world's most influential writers. The sudden success of The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds transformed his life and catapulted him to international fame; he became the writer who most inspired Orwell and countless others and predicted men walking on the moon seventy years before it happened.
In this remarkable, empathetic biography, Claire Tomalin paints a fascinating portrait of a man like no other, driven by curiosity and desiring reform, a socialist and a futurist whose new and imaginative worlds continue to inspire today.
About the Author
Claire Tomalin is the author of eight highly acclaimed biographies, including Charles Dickens: A Life and Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, which won the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and a memoir A Life of My Own. She has previously won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography, the Hawthornden Prize, the NCR Book Award for Non-Fiction, and the Whitbread First Book Prize. Educated at Cambridge University, she served as literary editor of the New Statesman and The Sunday Times. Claire Tomalin lives in London and is married to the playwright Michael Frayn.
“Tomalin is a consummate storyteller, illuminating myriad absorbing details to show the many dimensions of this complicated icon of twentieth-century literature.” —Booklist“Tomalin (A Life of My Own) focuses on H.G. Wells’s early years and how that period defined his interests and career in this solid biography . . . A large cast of literary friends and political relationships add color, including Beatrice Potter Webb, Winston Churchill, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Stephen Crane. Well-researched . . . Tomalin’s account is worth a look for literature lovers.” —Publishers Weekly
“The acclaimed literary biographer delivers a compelling portrait of the formative years of the iconic British author . . . Wells was a renegade, which enlivens the already engaging narrative. [Tomalin] has an empathy for him and a deep understanding of a young man impelled to reach for everything within his grasp . . . Excellent. . . . A vivid portrait of the early years of an author of astounding vision, who predicted many of the horrors of the 20th century.” —Kirkus (starred review)