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on 17 September 2011
This is an excellent study of a man whom most remember nowadays only as an early Sci-Fi writer. In his day HG Wells was much more than this- a novelist, historical writer, political campaigner and literary superstar. The author seems to have read everything he ever wrote- books, articles, letters and speeches. Amidst a mass of detail, he identifies the deeper structure of Wells' life and the development of his creative work and thinking in the context of his personality, background, friendships and family, and numerous love affairs. He conveys his admiration for Wells as a man decades ahead of his time, and demolishes unfounded accusations against him by people who have not studied him in depth. Nonetheless he does not shrink from Wells' less admirable qualities. Personally I'd have liked to see more in-depth study of Wells' sci-fi work, for example more attention to his sci-fi short stories, however the author wants to show a more rounded portrait of Wells as novelist and campaigner and get away from focusing only on his sci-fi work which he wrote earlier in his career.
My only criticisms are firstly that the print is very small (I suppose this was necessary in order to pack in more content), and secondly a family tree would have been useful.
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on 7 February 2013
H.G. Wells is one of the most prolific writers in the canon of Literature. And in science fiction, he is a God. Michael Sherborne's biography does give us a lot of gossip and other pieces of information about his life. However, none of this is groundbreaking in Wells scholarship. What I found deeply frustrating is the biographer's unforgivable shyness in exploring H.G. Wells's extraordinary output. One needs to know the mindset of an author who can produce a high number of novels, short stories, and essays. Sherborne should have discussed Wells's writing routines, habits, and methods. In this 350 page biography, guess how many pages are devoted to this vital topic? A mere paragraph of about 75 words. That's it. That's the equivalent of someone writing a biography of Roger Federer and giving just a paragraph to that great tennis genius's practice habits, routines, and methods. With 17 Grand Slam wins, one needs the biographer to explore a champion's mindset.

A great English writer such as H.G Wells needed a great biographer such as a Clare Tomalin or a Peter Ackroyd. Maybe one day we will get a 21st century biography of Wells that he deserves. In the mean time, this effort from Michael Sherborne at least revives one's interest in the creator of 'The Time Machine' and 'The Island of Doctor Moreau'.

Having said that, this biography does have a good index. So, if you don't want to waste time like I regretfully had, you could go straight to the back pages to find what you are looking for.
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on 21 May 2016
Michael Sherborne has researched his subject well and discovered new information not found in other biographies of Wells. A good read and ideal for the seasoned Wellsian or a new interest.
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on 19 February 2015
A well written and fascinating look at Wells.
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on 6 August 2014
Good book to read - difficult to beginner to relate with information provided - as the time circumstances are in the present day cloaked in different social environment drab. Most interesting for me was a little information provided about Mrs. Jane Wells and consider her free prochoice martyrdom - personal fulfilment in the partnership with HGW. Wells's picchua of Mrs. Wells as the World of the worlds Invader is very insightful to meaning what really was going on ? and is even going now while taking to account reality of AI what we are fed from the cradle to grave and what we interpret as our Norm ,culture, belief or call to the flag at box office. The Rebecca West as Wells personal by product and her experience with what is in other works linked to her becoming Neocon and supporter of Joseph McCarthy witch hunt squad. Good book to read 4 stars - because something is missing from the work - but it may be that it was never in the Wells to find it out. So book is not making it up.
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on 23 February 2014
Great product and swift delivery
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