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Herbert George Wells was born on September 21st, 1866 in Bromley in Kent. He was the youngest of four siblings, and his family affectionately knew him as ‘Bertie’.
The first few years of his childhood were spent fairly quietly, and Wells didn’t display much literary interest until, in 1874, he accidentally broke his leg and was left to recover in bed, largely entertained by the library of books his father regularly brought him. Through these Wells found he could escape the boredom and misery of his bed and convalescence by exploring the new worlds he encountered in these books.
From these humble beginnings began a career that was, after several delays, to be seen as one of the most brilliant of modern English writers.
Able to write comfortably in a number of genres, he was especially applauded for his science fiction works such as The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, but his forays into the social conditions of the times, with classics such as Kipps, were almost as commercially successful. His short stories are miniature masterpieces, many of which bring new and incredible ideas of science fiction to the edge of present-day science fact. Wells also received four nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Despite a strong and lasting second marriage, his affairs with other women also brought the complications of fathering other children. His writings and work against fascism, as well as the promotion of socialism, brought him into increasing doubts with, and opposition to, religion. His writings on what the world could be in works such as A Modern Utopia are thought-provoking as well as being plausible, especially when viewed from the distressing times they were written in.
His diabetic condition pushed him to create what is now the largest diabetes charity in the United Kingdom. Wells even found the time to run twice for Parliament. It was a long, distinguished and powerfully successful career by the time he died, aged 79, on August 13th, 1946.
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