Talk:H. G. Wells

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The Pivot of Civilization[edit]

This Eugenist and Socialist also made the introduction to eugenics' book The Pivot of Civilization writen by Margaret Sanger.Agre22 (talk) 21:42, 9 January 2010 (UTC)agre22


Despite the popularity of his novels, the work that gave HG wells the greatest and steadiest income is supposed to have been his World History text book. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:44, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Possessive with an s ending[edit]

Indeed, both versions are correct, in a way--even Strunk and White couldn't really solve this. Given that both occur in reliable sources even in the article's bibliography (with, [1], [2]; without, [3], [4]) there is little choice in this RfC than to go on the reliable evidence presented here--and the withs have it, esp. given the evidence presented by Nick Cooper which is borne out by a number of other reliable and authoritative studies, such as Hammond's H. G. Wells's The Time Machine: A Reference Guide and an edited collection from the U of Georgia P, H.G. Wells's Perennial Time Machine. (Note: I'm not interested in choosing Chicago over anything else (a suggestion made here): I don't particularly care for it, and I don't wish for this to be seen as an endorsement of it to apply to other articles.) So, that "almost all other published material" appears incorrect to me; the article should have "Wells's" except, of course, when citing material that has it differently. Drmies (talk) 00:45, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should this article follow almost all other published material and use Wells' as the possessive form, or should it follow the general rule recommended by the Chicago Manual (2003) and use Wells's? Both versions may be considered 'correct' but Wells himself (or at least his publishers) adopted the former. nagualdesign (talk) 06:37, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure this will be covered elsewhere in Wikipedia, but I have no idea where.

Just had a little revert battle over Wells's. As I said in my edit comment, if I had used that form in my highest level English, it would simply have been marked wrong, and my teacher would have severely chastised me. That last s would have been a mortal sin in my school's view. How can it be correct in Wikipedia?

Is this explained better elsewhere? HiLo48 (talk) 12:46, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for raising the point here, rather than simply reverting again. Your own experience at school can't be cited: it's original research, which isn't allowed. In my edit summary I cited Peters, who writes regarding personal names ending in -s: "treat... [personal] names ending in -s to the full apostrophe -s, just like any other noun. This is recommended by the Chicago Manual (2003), and the Australian Government Style Manual (2002)." Any help? I generally refer to Peters, by the way: she wasn't selected for this rejoinder just because she's a fellow Australian! --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:03, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. I know my own experience is original research, but it was not just a selfish view. I did go to a fairly well regarded mainstream Australian school, and the Well's form would have been treated as an example of lower class, ignorant, uneducated usage there. But I'm always ready to learn and adapt. I'm aware of Pam Peters and her role in linguistics. Surprised her name is a redlink in the Cambridge Usage article. The world moves on. Sounds like it's time for me to change! HiLo48 (talk) 13:16, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Redlink: you sound like just the person to start an article on her! --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:18, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Done! (Just a start so far) HiLo48 (talk) 06:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Now that was quick: I'm impressed! --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:54, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Oppose. According to the Apostrophe article "A widely accepted practice is to follow whichever spoken form is judged better: the boss's shoes, Mrs Jones' hat (or Mrs Jones's hat, if that spoken form is preferred)" and I would never say Wellses, therefore I oppose. Moreover, The Cambridge Guide to English Usage differentiates between US, UK, Canadian and Australian usages. Quoting the section which refers to Australian usage is moot, and even the American 'guide' is debatable. Perhaps an example that actually refers to Mr Wells would be more appropriate, like an advert for one of his books or a trailer for a film. For example: nagualdesign (talk) 18:20, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
...There are many more examples, in fact, so I'm going to redo the edit. Regards, nagualdesign (talk) 18:40, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm surprised that you rely on your "judge[ment] whichever is better…I would never say Wellses", when three reliable sources attest that your opposition is misplaced. It's just your opinion. (BTW the Australian sources were only spotlit as a light-hearted touch—the original point was raised by an Australian editor.) Citations from Wikipedia itself and, in particular, references from YouTube are never good enough. Even if your preferred usage could be deemed acceptable, you contravene the policy of "[a]n article should not be edited or renamed simply to switch from one valid use of English to another" (original emphasis). Any direct quotations, of course, should use the author's original form.
I intend to revert to the stable form, before the drive by edit. Hit-and-run edits like this, when a user's only contribution to an article is to change some minor point of style from the settled one adopted by the long-term editors to their own favourite version, seem arrogant and ill-mannered.
Direct quotations stick with the author's original version, of course.--Old Moonraker (talk) 20:55, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, because obviously advertising ephemera are somehow more valid than academic sources... Nick Cooper (talk) 20:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
No need now: thanks, User:Nick Cooper, for the decisive edit (and the pithy edit summary).--Old Moonraker (talk) 21:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
There's really no need to be so rude (or 'pithy'). If you will allow me to explain; First of all you only provided one source that I can see, and that refered to the Chicago Manual (2003) and the Australian Government Style Manual (2002), the latter of which is irrelevant. As Wikipedia ought to be self-consistent, I took the view that we should follow whichever spoken form is judged better and therefore added my statement of opposition. In doing so I did a search for what other people used, such as Wells' publicists, and found that none of them used Wells's. The trailer, for example, might be hosted on YouTube but it is the real deal - the actual trailer. I'm not suggesting that we use YouTube as a source! Similarly, every book cover and poster ever published uses Wells'. Perhaps you could explain why Wells' own publicists are not valid sources? One would assume that Wells himself had a hand in how his book covers were worded, right? At the very least, references should be titled verbatim, such as H.G. Wells' cartoons, a window on his second marriage, focus of new book and Eugenics Rides a Time Machine: H. G. Wells' outline of genocide. Note also that I had corrected H. G. Wells's "Liberal Fascism". I was quite carefull with my edits, unlike Nick's sloppy revert, and spent half an hour trying earnestly to do a good job. As for "Hit-and-run edits like this, when a user's only contribution to an article is to change some minor point of style from the settled one adopted by the long-term editors to their own favourite version, seem arrogant and ill-mannered", see WP:OWN. I specifically left a note for you on your talk page, Moonraker, as an act of politeness. Evidently it fell on deaf ears. nagualdesign (talk) 06:17, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
My revert was only "sloppy" by necessity - you had made a number of over-lapping edits that could not have been reverted selectively.
That the titles of Things to Come are wrong means very little. He wasn't even in the country when the film was edited.
It's also preposterous for you to claim that, "every book cover and poster ever published uses Wells'." Simply not true. Patrick Parinder and Leon Stover - arguably the foremost Wells scholars - consistently use/d "Wells's," as do numerous other writers. 07:10, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have been more specific. What I meant was that none of Wells' own books or films ever used 's. And your revert was at least less considered than my 'drive-by' edit, but let's not split hairs, I've since corrected the reference titles. nagualdesign (talk) 02:51, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
You're missing the point. There no evidence that Wells had any control over how film makers chose to credit him, let alone how studio or distributors' publicity departments handled the issue. Nick Cooper (talk) 10:03, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

The publicists were probably more concerned with getting "H. G. Wells" large on the screen or poster than with the niceties of punctuation and the simple apostrophe distracts less from the dramatic lettering than would "Wells's". Wells may merely have shrugged at the result (my suppositions, but then nagualdesign makes free with his). Usage in reference works and serious criticism is a different matter, however.--Mabzilla (talk) 23:23, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

*Added RfC*
I don't see a link to our Manual of Style. Rmhermen (talk) 01:31, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, which shows that neither use is incorrect and that it's normal to adopt a spelling based on pronunciation. As I have mentioned, I've very rarely heard anyone uses the term Wells's, and Wells himself appears to have prefered Wells'. Regards, nagualdesign (talk) 02:45, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
If "neither usage is incorrect", then the Wikipedia policy should be followed: "An article should not be edited or renamed simply to switch from one valid use of English to another" (original emphasis). The usage in the article is stable, it is accepted by the regular contributors and has been so for at least the last the 3 years. It should not be subject to haphazard edits against the established consensus.--Old Moonraker (talk) 20:44, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I think you may be misinterpreting the guidelines. In general, neither use is incorrect, so Jesus' desciples and Bridget Jones's Diary are both acceptable uses (and Nick Cooper's 'pithy' edit summary was inappropriate). The other part of the guideline is to Add only an apostrophe if the possessive is pronounced the same way as the non-possessive name. That, I believe, is the case with H. G. Wells. Whether or not it is accepted by the regular contributors is irrelevant, and contrary to Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. nagualdesign (talk) 02:54, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
You haven't explained how I am misinterpreting this: to me it looks pretty straightforward and not really capable of misunderstanding. In paraphrase, I am interpreting the instruction as "don't change things just for the sake of it", but if not that, what is the correct meaning, please? --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:34, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Nagualdesign, just because you've not encountered the use of "Wells's" doesn't mean it isn't used. Quite the contrary. Numerous academics use it, including - as I noted above - the two leading Wells scholars. This includes both within the body of their works, and their titles, e.g. H.G. Wells's Literary Criticism (1980 ed. Patrick Parrinder & Robert Philmus), The Prophetic Soul - A Reading of H.G. Wells's Things to Come (1987, Leon Stover). Nick Cooper (talk) 10:03, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
As the person who started this discussion over two years ago, I can certainly accept that the English language and its usage varies hugely around the world. If "Wells's" is to stay, I guess I can live with it, but I still say I'd have lost marks in my final year high school exam for writing it. The youngest of my teachers would now be in their 70s. Maybe they won't read this disturbing (to them) content. HiLo48 (talk) 00:50, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Teachers routinely attempt to enforce rules which have no validity, such as "never start a sentence with 'but,'" or "Never end a sentence with a preposition." These "rules" are opposed by all style manuals, and conventional usage across the publishing world. In fact, there's nothing unusual about teachers penalizing students for writing well. zadignose (talk) 04:53, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Use Wells's. Wikipedia's own style manual does not resolve this issue. Meanwhile, Chicago is a very widely accepted standard in publishing. How the word has been spelled in other publications is irrelevant, how Wells himself would prefer it written is irrelevant, pronunciation can be as controversial as any other element in this debate, and the idea that pronunciation could be relevant is only proposed as one of several contradictory guidelines. We want a firm, unambiguous guide to use consistently, and Chicago has apparently provided it for us. zadignose (talk) 05:00, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

I have requested that this RFC be closed at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure. Callanecc (talkcontribs) talkback (etc) template appreciated. 14:24, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Warehouse 13[edit]

As this TV series has its own article I've removed excessive detail from the "Fiction" paragraph: it's all in the linked page. Example: "where it is revealed that H.G. Wells is actually a woman...frozen for 100 years". Seems somewhat off topic in an article about the male, unfrozen author and political commentator. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:48, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

In reality, Wells is not "revealed to be a woman" - instead, they established in the show that there were two H.G. Wells, Herbert George the author, and his sister, Helena, the creative genius that gave him the material to write about. I'm not sure if the entry here and in the Warehouse 13 section needs to be re-written accordingly. Nolefan32 (talk) 12:49, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Introductory Text[edit]

It seems strange that the only two works mentioned in the introductory paragraph are Ann Veronica and The History of Mr Polly. These books seem to be mentioned just to prove a point. If we're going to mention any works in this section, then it should surely be the Scientific Romances for which is is best known.

The entire final sentence of the intro seems a bit too detailed. It would be better just to outline the direction his writing took as the century progressed, and leave the details for further on in the article. Does this seem reasonable? Captain Sumo (talk) 09:58, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Is it so?[edit]

Mike Ashley has written somewhere that when it come the matter of crediting Wells with what is to come as miracles of science, things have been over-done. That is, all these things (or most of them) we think Wells (and even Verne) said for first time were already there in popular culture when they were writing. How far is that true ?  Jon Ascton  (talk) 03:48, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Impossible to say unless you can suggest some specifics. 07:03, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Is this what you meant? "(Mike Ashley):... 'I wish I had a pound for every time someone has said to me how clever Jules Verne or H.G. Wells were at predicting scientific developments in their fiction. Apart from the fact that they weren't -- they were pretty hopeless at it -- most of what they did "predict" had already been used in earlier stories, but because these stories were lost to anyone but a dedicated researcher no one realized it'" [5] Anyone with a keen interest in science fiction knows of examples of SF stories which have been widely praised for originality having been preceded by less well known stories with a suspiciously similar plot device. For example, Audrey Niffenegger's "The Time Traveler's Wife" may have been influenced by the ideas on time travel underlying F.M. Busby's earlier short story "If This Is Winnetka, You Must Be Judy". The importance of prediction of scientific discoveries in SF is overplayed; is not the idea of "If this goes on-" (to borrow a Robert A. Heinlein title) of more importance? That is, the thought-provoking development of a basic idea matters more than the origin of the idea itself.--Mabzilla (talk) 12:07, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
It's not really much of an observation on Ashley's part if he doesn't come up with specific examples. There are, of course, lots of things in Wells's work that had been done previously, such as traveling to other planets or in time, but the majority - if not all - had their basis in magic or mythology, rather than scientific application. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:53, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Place of Employment as Draper[edit]

I've just placed this 2005 image at the commons. It shows a plaque at an address on the High Street in Windsor Berkshire which appears to contradict the assertion in the article.

Plaque recording HG Wells employment in Windsor Berkshire

WyrdLight (talk) 19:01, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

I've checked the refs, to confirm. He was at Hyde's for two years, as the article states, but he was with R&D for only a month, leaving because he couldn't give the right change. Any help? --Old Moonraker (talk) 22:03, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks OM - perhaps R&D and the subsequent shop owners became more interested in Wells once they thought he was good for business after all!! WyrdLight (talk) 14:45, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

First world war[edit]

The key political issue in Edwardian times was the first world war, so I have added a sentence about Wells's attitude. He wrote extensively on the war, so more would be appropriate, when I have a moment. This is particularly important because he somehow gained a reputation as a pacifist, though in fact he supported the war (reluctantly). (talk) 10:35, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

The source and context would be useful. Looking forward to your development of the point. --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:13, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Have added a reference; but Wells announced his support for the war hundreds of times, so this is just one example. (talk) 12:03, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

As I've said before, I think the reference in the lead to Wells as being a "pacifist" is problematic, not least because - unlike the one to him being a socialist - it is not qualified or elaborated upon elsewhere on the page. We don't have to look far for proof that Wells generally disapproved of wars because he considered them a wasteful use of resources - human and material - and generally rooted in the politics of a world composed of separate nation states that he clearly disagreed with. On the other hand, he eventually supported both World Wars specifically because of their causes and the issues at stake, so could be said to beleive in the concept of the "just war" that pacifists usually don't. Would a "pacifist" have written What We Are Fighting For? Nick Cooper (talk) 14:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Back to the specific: thanks for the ref, now is there some context for the 1916 opposition to peace moves? --Old Moonraker (talk) 12:32, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
OK: I've attempted a start to this; it should't be the last word.--Old Moonraker (talk) 15:04, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Wells's inclusion in "The Black Book"[edit]

The previous text stated:

"Near the end of the Second World War, Allied forces discovered that the SS had compiled lists of intellectuals and politicians slated for immediate arrest upon the invasion of England in the abandoned Operation Sea Lion. The name "H. G. Wells" appeared high on the list for the crime of being a socialist in The Black Book."

From the page of the book reproduced in the cited source, it is clear that the list in which Wells's name appeared was nominally alphbetical, so to say that he appeared "high on the list" is inappropriate. The entry also lists Wells only as a "Schriftsteller" - i.e. a writer - and not as a socialist. Lastly, the list clearly includes people other than "intellectuals and politicians," so the description shouldn't be limited to just them. Nick Cooper (talk) 14:07, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

" Wells was included in the alphabetical list on the same page of "The Black Book" as Rebecca West" so in an alphabetical list 'wells' was near 'west'. Well, whatever! Greglocock (talk) 20:54, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
So? The cited source specifically notes the juxtaposition as being ironic, given that Wells destroyed a lot of his correspondence - including that to West - so as not to incriminate his associates. Nick Cooper (talk) 11:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

BBC archives[edit]

The BBC has an "HG Wells on the future" collection. In addition to audio of radio broadcasts, there are letters and other documents. Via HTLit. Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 17:05, 5 January 2011 (UTC)


I believe it is worth to mention Well's plagiarism of Florence Deeks' "The Web of the World's Romance" in his own "Outline of History".


"The Spinster and the Prophet: H.G. Wells, Florence Deeks, and the Case of the Plagiarized Text" by A.B. McKillop of Carleton University

Ioan — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Already in—suit dismissed.--Old Moonraker (talk) 16:12, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

It is noted down as lawsuit of copyright infringement, and this is inaccurate. While decidedly, the court ruled against Deeks claims, this does not dismiss the fact that indeed, Wells did plagiarize her work, kickstaring his career in the process.

This however is not the only work Wells has been accused that in his 'The Wonderful Visit' to have plagiarized Grant Allen 'The British Barbarians'. About a quarter of Wells work takes word from word from Allen's novel.

H.G. Wells and his critics [by Ingvald Raknem]

(ioan.constantin at gmail dot com)— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:24, 10 June 2011

You are right: Deeks wasn't published, so it wasn't copyright infringement. A tweak to article to follow. Meanwhile, a reader's assessment on Amazon, definitely not a WP:RS and in no way acceptable on mainspace, is worth a look. See here.
"Copyright" tweaked as suggested. --Old Moonraker (talk) 19:38, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
That's a rather laughable claim, given that Outline was published in 1919 when Wells was already well-established, and so didn't need to "kickstart" anything. Likewise the claim about Grant Allen, since The Wonderful Visit was published in early November 1895, and The British Barbarians not until the end of December the same year. Nick Cooper (talk) 20:02, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I was talking about Outline of History as launching his career. Please pay attention.

The Amazon comments are quite inaccurate for folks who allegedly read the book. Then again, this is the way of the internet.

In different news, the edit looks good enough. --Ioanvonhans (talk) 20:43, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I was mistaken in my revision on 22:41, 2 October 2010, stating that Deeks sued for infringement of copyright. I was misled by details such as Deeks having taken out interim copyright on her projected work in 1916 (McKillop) and the statement in the Privy Council report that, as Deek's work had not been printed, there were no legal grounds at all for the action (MacKenzie and MacKenzie). I still dispute the use of the word "plagiarism", which is not a legal concept (check the Plagiarism: "Legal aspects" section). Deeks's lawyers told the court that that they were suing because unfair use had been made of her manuscript (McKillop).
The comments by Amazon reviewers, pithy as they may be, have no place in the discussion here. Nor do dogmatic statements such as "While decidedly, the court ruled against Deeks claims, this does not dismiss the fact that indeed, Wells did plagiarize her work...". Deeks's suit was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Ontario, by the Appelate Court and by the Privy Council in London. Finally, a petition to the King was refused. All this has to be balanced against McKillop's doubtful impartiality. --Mabzilla (talk) 01:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Ioanvonhans, I think you're the one who should "pay attention." Outline did not "launch" Wells's career in any way, shape, or form, because he was well-established writer long before it was published. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:20, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

This is all interesting, but can I ask why the Deeks situation takes up 4 paragraphs out of 16 under the "Writer" heading? And that's not counting the paragraph that mentions the publication of "Outline." As it is, this reads as the most important thing that happened in Wells' writing career by far. If the incident was that important, maybe it deserves its own subheading; if not, then it should be reduced for the sake of balance. History Lunatic (talk) 06:38, 4 September 2014 (UTC)History Lunatic

Deeks versus Wells is given similar coverage in the "Outline" article; pretty much an iteration of the account in the Wells article. The recently introduced Wikipedia article on Florence Deeks is, of course, essentially also about the legal case. While relying heavily on McKillop's "The Spinster and the Prophet" and other sources which follow that book's argument, this last-named article is competently constructed. I'd suggest that if it could be made to reflect properly the controversy, a short summary in "Wells" and "Outline" would be sufficient. --Mabzilla (talk) 21:24, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Plagiarism: wrong victim?[edit]

It seems that Deeks had relied upon A General History of the World by Victor Duruy (1898) in compiling her work: Kelley (2006) Frontiers of history: historical inquiry in the twentieth century Yale p. 156. ISBN 0300120621. Is it possible that Duruy had also inspired Wells and that this was the reason for the similarities? WP:NOR as it stands, and not suitable for inclusion without a more specific source. --Old Moonraker (talk) 11:05, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Deeks's use of Duruy's work is the basis of one of McKillop's main attacks on Wells. She had used Duruy's description of the formation of the solar system and claimed that Wells's wording of the same event was suspiciously similar. When questioned, Wells said that he had no memory of Duruy's work; this was advanced as proof that he could only have obtained the information from Deeks's manuscript. The actual passage in Duruy's "General History of the World" amounts to no more than two shortish paragraphs, and is "according to the Hypothesis of Laplace", says Duruy. McKillop glosses over Wells's scientific education, but it would be remarkable if someone who had studied physics as part of his B.Sc. work had never heard of Laplace's nebular hypothesis.
Of course, I can't write the above statement into a Wikipedia article - it would be debarred as unverifiable. McKillop, on the other hand, has been praised by reviewers for his imaginings of "what may have happened" to take the place of hard evidence that Wells's publishers had Deeks's manuscript delivered to his hands.
Duruy's "General History of the World" can be found online here
--Mabzilla (talk) 15:16, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
So, basically, it looks as if McKillop's anti-Wells claims are about as valid as Michael Coren's...? Nick Cooper (talk) 23:00, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Basically, yes: controversy sells books, even those of "shoddy scholarship" (Magill Book Reviews).--Old Moonraker (talk) 07:32, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
And yet it's ironic that this review highlights the contradiction that Coren suggests Outline was essentially ghost-written for Wells, whilst it seems McKillop regards the additional contributor credits in the book as bogus! It's also notable taht both writers base their case on their interpretation of works that are effectively unobtainable (i.e. Deek's MS, and Wells's Anticipations), so few readers are able to confirm their claims for themselves. Nick Cooper (talk) 11:14, 18 June 2011 (UTC) is not a reliable source[edit]

At least one claim is this article—regarding Amy Catherine's knowledge of Wells' affairs—cites something from ThinkQuest is a user-contributed, self-published site (much like Wikipedia) and its library pages are not allowed as a source here. For more information, please see WP:RS. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 14:41, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

This edit also suggests that Jane (Amy Catherine) consented to his affairs with other women, using as a reference a publicity puff for Shadow Lovers: The Last Affairs of H. G. Wells (Lynn, 2001). This isn't ruled out in the book itself, but page 60 states only that she was aware of the many affairs, while page 52 suggests that her response remains unknown. Is there a page number, then we can add a proper reference? --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:17, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, had another look and found it. Page number now added. Sorry it took so long. --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:27, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Disputed influence on Leó Szilárd[edit]

This article states: "Leó Szilárd acknowledged that the book inspired him to theorise the nuclear chain reaction."

I've read the entire ref (written by the Jungian analyst Donald Williams), and I find it to be pure speculation, possibly some weird twist on synchronicity; there are no quotations or references on that web page. Further, the article The World Set Free only states "The physicist Leó Szilárd read the book in 1932 [...]" using this ref. I'm actually not sure about the accuracy of that either...

I propose to remove the line above. Any objections? Regards, --Dna-Dennis (talk) 02:46, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Some more info. This link states "Wells's book The World Set Free (London, 1914), which had predicted the development of atomic power, had made a great impression on Szilard when he read it in 1932." and that page has references but no quotations. So Szilárd might have read the book, but to draw the conclusion that it inspired him to theorise the nuclear chain reaction is speculation IMO. Any thoughts? --Dna-Dennis (talk) 03:15, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
More info. This link contains a quote by Szilard that he read the book. No refs though, and no confirmation of the disputed conclusion above. --Dna-Dennis (talk) 03:45, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

More info. Good info. I'm talking to myself :). I've checked with the book The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Richard Rhodes, 1987), and here are the original interesting parts:

page 24: "Just then, in 1932, Szilard found or took up for the first time that appealing orphan among H. G. Wells' books that he had failed to discover before: The World Set Free."

page 24: "Yet The World Set Free influenced Szilard less than its subject matter might suggest. "This book made a very great impression on me, but I didn't regard it as anything but fiction. It didn't start me thinking of whether or not such things could in fact happen. I had not been working in nuclear physics up to that time"."

page 266: "After Bohr's arrival Szilard traveled down from New York to visit his sick friend and won a long-overdue surprise: "Wigner told me of Hahn's discovery. Hahn found that uranium breaks into two parts when it absorbs a neutron.... When I heard this I immediately saw that these fragments, being heavier than corresponds to their charge, must emit neutrons, and if enough neutrons are emitted ... then it should be, of course, possible to sustain a chain reaction. All the things which H. G. Wells predicted appeared suddenly real to me.""

page 331: "Something other than Briggs' penurious methodology triggered a new burst of activity from Szilard. He had spent the winter preparing a thorough theoretical study, "Divergent chain reactions in systems composed of uranium and carbon" - divergent in this case meaning chain reactions that continue to multiply once begun (the document's first footnote, numbered zero, cited "H. G. Wells, The World Set Free [1913]")."

So, these are the very best references I have found so far. They are very interesting, as Szilard clearly mentions Wells book The World Set Free. But they are still no proof that "Leó Szilárd acknowledged that the book inspired him to theorise the nuclear chain reaction.", so we should rephrase that. I don't know how at the moment, though :). --Dna-Dennis (talk) 05:07, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, I finally rephrased it to In 1932, the physicist and conceiver of nuclear chain reaction Leó Szilárd read The World Set Free, a book which he said made a great impression on him. and I referenced it with page 24 in The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Richard Rhodes, 1987). I hope that is to our satisfaction? Regards, --Dna-Dennis (talk) 06:21, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

External reference 19 is broken.[edit]

The external reference [19] to URL: is broken. (I hope this is the right forum for making such comments).

Reference 19 looks like a citation for one of Well's early publicatons (Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought (1901) ). I expect the best thing is to find a more reliable reference for the same paper. But I don't dare do it myself because I know next to nothing about Wells, and therefore can't do any better than regurgitate whatever Google turns up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Replaced with archived version and a print source but it is, indeed, only a regurgitated version of what Google threw up! --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:40, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Parents' social class[edit]

"Upper middle class" has been tagged. This does need attention as the distinction, usually applied (when these things mattered more) to such as solicitors, medical doctors or architects, would need to be extremely elastic to encompass Joseph and Sarah, with their background in domestic service and current constrained circumstances. Deleting. --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:30, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. As it seems rooted in the much wider scope of the term "middle class" in the United States, than what would be recognised in this UK context. Even so, I think you'd have to really struggle to justify placing the Welles Snr so high. Really they just barely make it into lower middle by dint of commercial aspirations, but their relative failure in that makes for a fairly shaky claim. Nick Cooper (talk) 19:22, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

"In popular fiction"[edit]

This section has recently benefited from a much-needed trim, that left only one work (That Hideous Strength, with two references to explain its significance). There was also an in-line note to contributors pointing out that there should be secondary sources to establish the noteworthiness. However, unreferenced material is already creeping back [6][7]. Views? --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

badly organized biography[edit]

I wish the author would take the biographic section and arrange it chronologically and then read it through for sense. There are places that seem to say Wells was apprenticed at the same time as he was at school. At any rate it is very confusing and would probably serve readers better to write this part of the article chronologically so readers can see the catch-as-catch-can nature of Wells' education vs work experience better (talk) 12:35, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Wells flipped between school, apprenticeship, and back again at different times. Could you be more clear about where you think there is a contradiction? Nick Cooper (talk)

Authors influenced by Wells[edit]

There's many more authors who could be listened as being influnced by Wells ideas. For example, Karel Čapek, in this article from "Science Fiction Studies": In the Western tradition, both writers acknowledge their indebtedness to Wells. Certainly the beginning of War with the Newts, highly reminiscent of a number of Wells's short stories...and the overall scope of Capek's book is reminiscent of Wells's longer works, such as A Modern Utopia...Within the text of War with the Newts, Capek puts Wells in the company of Aldous Huxley". [8]. Also Ursula Le Guin, in another SFS piece: "let us also observe that Zamyatin is not the only anti-utopian developing out of the Wells tradition...writers such as Karel Capek, Olaf Stapledon, and Ursula Le Guin deserve mention here. " [9]. (talk) 22:00, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Other authors known to be influenced by Wells; Brian Stableford describes S. Fowler Wright's novel The World Below" as "Wells-inspired" ("Gothic Grotesques", pg. 15) and lists four authors who wrote "Wellsian" fiction, J.-H. Rosny aîné, Kurd Lasswitz, Mikhail Bulgakov and Jack London (("Gothic Grotesques", pg. 152-154). (talk) 21:49, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

In the book "Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature A Checklist, 1700-1974" (p. 1002) Naomi Mitchison states "Since reading H.G. Wells as a child, and later Stapledon, I have always enjoyed good SF.." so it would be safe to say Wells inspired her SF work too. (talk) 19:36, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

141 or 143 Maybury Road?[edit]

The house depicted is currently numbered 141 Maybury Road; it does carry a plaque indicating that HG Wells lived there, so it would indeed appear to be the correct house. Its neighbours are numbered 140 and 142 respectively. Maybury Road is numbered consecutively on one side because the other side of the road is a railway line. So that does not leave much room to manoeuvre. One does arrive at this location in Google Maps by requesting 143 Maybury Rd, Woking UK, but then Google does disclaim strict accuracy in aligning location with street numbers. (talk) 03:39, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Permissive affairs[edit]

Could the article please state which wife it was that effectively gave permission for these extra marital relations, as I have desire to ask my local library to order in the book used as a reference just to find out :). --wintonian talk 01:49, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Done. (talk) 16:59, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Wells' reputation in his later years.[edit]

This statement from the article is somewhat questionable: "Wells's literary reputation declined as he spent his later years promoting causes that were rejected by most of his contemporaries". Wells' document "World Declaration of the Rights of Man" was, according to Andrew Clapham, "distributed to over 300 editors in 48 countries, generating worldwide interest". (Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction, p.29). This hardly seems like a cause that was "rejected by most of his contemporaries". (talk) 20:11, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Authors influenced section removed?[edit]

I was wondering where "Authors influenced" box has been removed. Maybe it could be replaced with a short paragraph listing some of the main authors known to influenced by Wells? (talk) 14:09, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Looks like the field was removed from the "writer" infobox after some discussion - the information is still there in the source code, the infobox template just doesn't display it any more. A short, sourced paragraph discussing the writers who were significantly influenced by Wells would be much better. --McGeddon (talk) 16:02, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

I've started work on such a paragraph now; I will remove the mentioned writers from the Infobox later. (talk) 13:05, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Unfinished sentence/paragraph error in section 5 "Writer"[edit]

The Third paragraph down reads:

"Wells also wrote dozens of short stories and novellas, the best known of which is "The Country of the Blind" (1904). His short story "The Door in the Wall" is about a secret garden, like that in Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel. Some literary critics argued that this"

As you can see it stops abruptly, clearly unfinished or accidentally deleted during an edit. (talk) 04:55, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. Have checked back over the previous year's edits and have found no meaningful content there, so have tweaked it back to its bare minimum. --Technopat (talk) 09:24, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Is his suggested epitaph on his marker?[edit]

Under "Final Years."

Wells died of unspecified causes on 13 August 1946 at his home at 13 Hanover Terrace, Regent's Park, London, aged 79.[74][75] Some reports also say he died of a heart attack at the flat of a friend in London. In his preface to the 1941 edition of The War in the Air, Wells had stated that his epitaph should be: "I told you so. You damned fools."[76] He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on 16 August 1946, his ashes scattered at sea near Old Harry Rocks.[77] A commemorative blue plaque in his honour was installed at his home in Regent's Park.

I tried researching this, but couldn't find a marker/plaque on him. Anyone know whether or not this epitaph is written. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Korroth (talkcontribs) 18:28, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Blue plaque at 13 Hanover Terrace, Regent's Park. No epitaph. Photograph by Simon Harriyott (talk) 00:28, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Politics Section[edit]

I have chronologically rearranged the subsections so that their order more easily reflects the development of his interest in the topics described in the subsections. For that reason I have placed that on Stalin after that on World War I, with Eugenics, Race and Zionism subsections preceding World War I.Cloptonson (talk) 21:48, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Liberal fascism[edit]

"In 1932, he told Young Liberals at the University of Oxford that progressive leaders must become liberal fascists […]" Sorry, what is "liberal fascism"? Could you please clarify? Thank you. - (talk) 07:07, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

IIRC, he meant that to achieve their aims, liberals should be as dynamic about achieving them as the fascists were of archieving theirs. Nick Cooper (talk) 11:13, 8 September 2014 (UTC)


A record for this person has been created in the WeRelate genealogical website. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:36, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Political views[edit]

A recent edit by Valerius Tygart removed everything about Wells's political views, shifting it to a new article. The change is excessive. There needs to be at least a brief summary of Wells's political views in the article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:51, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

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N Archived sources still need to be checked

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