An Experiment in Autobiography Vol. I

H. G. Wells
Date Published
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H. G. Wells’s An Experiment in Autobiography, subtitled, with typically Wellsian self-effacement, ‘Discoveries and Conclusions of a Very Ordinary Brain (Since 1866)’, first appeared in 1934, when Wells was sixty-eight years old, and is presented in Faber Finds in two volumes (also in the Faber Finds imprint is H. G. Wells in Love, which Wells drafted as ‘Postscript to an Experiment in Autobiography’ and can be read as an accompaniment to these volumes).

In these volumes, Wells relates his early life, student days, struggles to make a living, ascent to literary supremacy, and later career as prophet of socialism. We follow him from the beginnings of his thoughts to his crowning conclusion ‘This particular brain … has arrived at the establishment of the Socialist World-State as its directive purpose and has made that its religion and end’.

On reading this remarkable account, President Roosevelt wrote to Wells to say:

Experiment in Autobiography was for me an experiment in staying awake instead of putting the light out. How do you manage to retain such vivid pictures of events and such extraordinarily clear impressions and judgements?’

These are indeed the conclusions of an extraordinary brain and a remarkable individual.

H. G.Wells

Born Herbert George Wells in Kent in 1866, H. G. Wells was an outspoken socialist and pacifist, whose works caused some controversy. He is more widely known as a science fiction writer for the novels that he published between 1895 and 1901: The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, When the…

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H. G.Wells
1920 portrait of author H. G. Wells.
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