HERBERT GEORGE WELLS (1866-1946), born in Bromley, Kent, the son of an unsuccessful small tradesman and professional cricketer, was apprenticed to a draper in early life, a period reflected in several of his novels. He then became assistant teacher at Midhurst Grammar School, studying by night and winning a scholarship in 1884 to the Normal School of Science in South Kensington, where he came under the influence of T. H. Huxley. In 1903 he joined the Fabian Society, but was soon at odds with it; impatient and turbulent, his career as writer and thinker was marked by a provocative independence. As a novelist he is best remembered for his scientific romances, among the earliest products of the new genre of science fiction. The first, Ã¢Â€ÂœThe Time MachineÃ¢Â€Â (1895), is a social allegory set in the year 80271, describing a society divided into two classes, the subterranean workers, called Morlocks, and the decadent Eloi. This was followed by Ã¢Â€ÂœThe Wonderful VisitÃ¢Â€Â (1895), Ã¢Â€ÂœThe Island of Doctor MoreauÃ¢Â€Â (1896), Ã¢Â€ÂœThe Invisible ManÃ¢Â€Â (1897), Ã¢Â€ÂœThe War of the WorldsÃ¢Â€Â (1898), Ã¢Â€ÂœWhen the Sleeper WakesÃ¢Â€Â (1899), Ã¢Â€ÂœThe First Men in the MoonÃ¢Â€Â (1901), and Ã¢Â€ÂœMen Like GodsÃ¢Â€Â (1923).
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