As William Clissold arrives at his fifty-ninth birthday, he considers that his lot in life must surely be nearing its end. With this in mind, he turns his thoughts to look back on his life, to remembrances of things past, and sees fit to put pen to paper. The result is a revealing tale of the philosophies, religions and social systems he encountered through his life, and a fascinating insight into the mind of this extraordinary, but very typical man. AUTHBIO: Known as the 'Father of Science Fiction', H G Wells was responsible for an entirely new genre of writing. It was his bold, daring and hugely innovative books that first introduced readers to the concepts of time travel, invisibility, genetic experimentation and interstellar invasion - ideas that have gone on to inspire future generations and given rise to the entire science fiction industry. Disturbingly accurate in his prophetic writing, H G Wells was also the author of a number of key sociological and historical works.
Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady's maid. Although "Bertie" left school at fourteen to become a draper's apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893.
In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher's salary. His other "scientific romances" - The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908) - won him distinction as the father of science fiction.
Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase "the war that will end war" to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: "Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me."