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Ann Veronica (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 31 Mar 2005

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (31 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441092
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.2 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

H.G. Wells was a professional writer and journalist, who published more than a hundred books, including novels, histories, essays and programmes for world regeneration. Wells's prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction, but later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress. His controversial views on sexual equality and the shape of a truly developed nation remain directly relevant to our world today. He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, 'an important liberator of thought and action'.


Margaret Drabble is the author of fiction and non-ficton and she has edited the Oxford Companion to English Literature. She is a CBE and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Sita A. Schütt was until recently Assýstant Professor in the English Language and Literature at Bilkent University, Ankara.She has published articles on French and English detective fiction and Ford Madox Ford. She is currently writing a novel.


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you only know H.G. Wells from The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds and so on, this brilliant novel may come as something of a shock. First published in 1909, it focuses on feminist issues from the point of view of a young woman entering adulthood and enduring prejudice about her place in the world. She has to fend off unwelcome advances from men who want to enslave her, and evade a different sort of imprisonment from an over-protective family. It's also a fascinating novel for what it says about the times, and its insights into contemporary social and scientific thought.

One last thing: Ann Veronica is a great (if unconventional) love story. The last quarter of the book is incredibly touching and romantic. Not bad for a 'mere' sci-fi writer...
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Format: Paperback
Sometimes an author's most famous novels aren't necessarily his best. H G Well's is known for "The War of the Worlds" and "The Invisible Man". But I think his more social novels are better. His novel "Kipps" formed the basis of the screenplay for the hits musical "Half a Sixpence". "Mr Britling sees it through" studies the psychology of middle class liberals who reluctantly supported the First World War.

And this novel, "Ann Veronica", tells the story of a middle class young woman who is fed up of being expected to be purely decorative. Her father and her boyfriends really are incapable of understanding why she should want to study science, or control her own life in any way. The portrayal of these male chauvinists is quite brilliant - Well's does not make them out to be bad people, just irrevocably blinkered by the social customs of the time.

Ann Veronica herself strikes out, makes men friends, joins militant suffragette action... Wells's novel is believable and touching, and I feel really helps us to understand the values of the time (he wrote it in 1909).
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Format: Paperback
Few writers have penned works which vary so much from one another, than H.G. Wells. In 'Ann Veronica', Wells tackles the issue of female independence and emancipation, through Ann Veronica Stanley, a promising Biology student in her early '20s, who desires a move away from the home of her overbearing father, and apparently traditional aunt. The novel deals with the issue of female identity and self-exploration in the early 20th century in decent detail, and in Ann Veronica, Wells has created a believable, likeable and fittingly flawed heroine. Also to the novel's credit is Wells' style, which is often witty, self-reflexive, and sets itself up somewhat as a gentle mockery towards the narration of some rather stodgier and more self-righteous Victorian texts.

'Ann Veronica' is certainly not without its problems, though. Wells appears to struggle at times with what to do with the appealing heroine he has created, and through her, seems to both criticise and mock Ann Veronica's father's paternal instincts, before creating an ending in which it is implied she needs a man to care for her; all the while both seeming to support and to denigrate the suffragette movement, the latter done often through the weak caricature that is the character of Miss Miniver. Similarly, whilst Wells shows a knowing wit on certain issues in the novel, characters like Ann Veronica's father Peter, amongst others; come across rather too much as Dickensian caricatures; a trait which sits uneasily with this largely progressive novel. All in all, 'Ann Veronica' is an interesting and sometimes insightful, but also flawed work; which seems to slip between the artful and the clumsy - but as always with Wells, you can't fault him for trying his hand at another genre of novel.
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Format: Hardcover
"What's the matter with kids today?" Lyrics from "Bye Bye Birdie"

Ann Veronica "Vee" asks the question "why can't a woman be like a man" and sets out to find out why. She discovers all sorts of men, some stuffy and some devious. She may one day stumble over the perfect man. She tries to be independent and is thwarted at every turn; that is until she realizes there are better things to do than just compete.

We get to grow with Vee and go through several long dissertations, Ayn Rand style, over politics freedom, love, equality, and whatnot. All the talk loses its way and with dumb luck returns to the story. We are treated to a travelogue and scratch ourselves with a long talk about the prison dingies. Just as it, starts to get interest the story stops dead in the middle of a thought.

The story is ok and some of the subjects brought up are still relevant today. However, if you look a little closer the story as with much fiction is just a venue to express H.G's concepts of free love.
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