H. G. Wells: Novelist, Historian and Futurist 

    Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) is best known today for his science fiction novels, but he was better known during his lifetime for his literary novels and historical writings and for his scandalous sexual life and his advocacy of free love. His Outline of History sold two million copies in English and many more in all major languages except Italian. He knew and wrote about most of the leading English literary figures of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and had  extensive interviews with Maxim Gorky, Lenin, Stalin, and Theodore Roosevelt. For an introductory overview, I recommend his Wikipedia entry
    Many movies have been based on his novels, and there is a video series featuring him as a character as well.  We will view and discuss excerpts from many of these videos in class, but we will not be watching full movies. Some readily available for home viewing, some I haven't been able to find at all.
    I have prepared slide shows for each class that include clips from Wells' writings and from biographers. The clips are in purple type to distinguish them from my own summaries. You may find it useful to read the slides before class so as to be prepared to discuss them. I won't necessarily read all the quotes aloud in class.
  If you have time and interest to do additional reading for the course, you have many choices. One I recommend most highly is Wells' own  Experiment in Autobiography. This is available free in html format on Project Gutenberg or for $7.49 in Kindle Format.  There are also often used copies available cheaply online (amazon, AbeBooks, Barnes and Noble, etc.) Marietta College Library has one copy and four are available through the Washington County Public Library (but not on the shelf here). It was originally published as two volumes, so some used copies may be only one volume.
  There are also a number of fine biographies by scholars, several of which are available in the Marietta College Library. Another interesting book is A Man of Parts by David Lodge. This is a novelized version of his life and reads very well. He follows the  record of Wells life closely but makes up dialogue. Wells wrote a postscript to the Autobiography about his sexual life which was published later as  H.G. Wells in Love: Postscript to an Experiment in Autobiography which was published after his death. It is not salacious, it is about the relationships. I don't especially recommend it.
    An alternative would be to read some of Wells' other writings, depending on your interest: science fiction, short stories, literary novels, history, essays, futurism.  Almost everything is available free online in Kindle format or other formats. There is a whole shelf of his books in the Marietta College library which you can take out with a community member card. The library also has several biographies, the one by his son is especially interesting. . There is a complete bibliography on Wikipedia with summaries of most of the books.