The H.G. Wells Society was founded by Dr. John Hammond in 1960. It has an international membership, and aims to promote a widespread interest in the life, work and thought of Herbert George Wells. The society publishes a peer-reviewed annual journal, The Wellsian, and issues a biannual newsletter. It has published a comprehensive bibliography of Wells’s published works, and other publications, including a number of works by Wells which have been out of print for many years.

The Society organises a weekend conference each year where aspects of Wells’s life and work are discussed in a congenial atmosphere.  

Topics discussed in recent years have included:

  • The Short Stories of H.G. Wells
  • Publishing and Publicising Wells
  • Wells’s Literary Friendships
  • The War of the Worlds (The proceedings of this conference appear in Foundation 77)
  • Wells and his Critics
  • Literature at War: H.G. Wells, Ford Madox Ford and Their Contemporaries
  • When the Lights Went Out: H.G. Wells and His World on the Eve of the War
  • Anticipations: H.G. Wells, Science Fiction and Radical Visions

In addition, the Society has organised two major international conferences. The first, under the title, H.G. Wells under Revision, was held in 1986 to mark the 40th anniversary of Wells’s death; the second, The Time Machine: Past, Present and Future was held in 1995 to mark the centenary of the publication of Wells’s first scientific romance.

Society Founder: Dr. John Hammond, President: Professor Patrick Parrinder, Vice-Presidents: Brian Aldiss, O.B.E., Dr. Stephen Baxter, Dr. Sylvia Hardy, Professor David Lodge, Professor Bernard Loing, Christopher Priest, Dr. Michael Sherborne, Professor Dominic Wells.

Society officers:

Chairperson – Dr. Emelyne Godfrey (juststruckone@hotmail.com)
Secretary – Brian Jukes
Treasurer – Valerie Fitch
The Wellsian Editor – Dr. Maxim Shadurski
Newsletter Editor – Dr. Harry Wood
Publications – Vacant (new officer coming soon)
Membership Officer – Eric Fitch (eric.l.fitch@btopenworld.com)
Webmaster – Charles Keller (hgwellssociety@gmail.com)

SOCIETY NEWS AND EVENTS

  • Shaw’s Corner, 16 September 2018 Every year we have a conference in September. This year’s event is actually a happy result of last year’s Wells and Shaw conference at the LSE. The date for our trip is Sunday 16 September. Whilst there, we will be given an exclusive tour by Sue who looks after the property for the National Trust, followed by lunch, a walking tour of the nearby village of Ayot and a reading and/or performance (details to follow). What you will need to bring: packed lunch (liquids will be provided at Shaw’s Corner) and £8 entry for the National Trust Property for non-members. There may also be a small fee for actors (this detail is in progress). As Shaw’s Corner is fairly remote from London, the Shaw Society is organising minibus transport, to meet at the home of Evelyn Ellis of the Shaw Society in Swiss Cottage, North London, at 10am where she has kindly offered to treat early birds to a coffee. We would love to know how many visitors we will have and how many will be coming by minibus so that we can hire an appropriately sized vehicle! We look forward to hearing from everyone in anticipation of what will be a great day. secretaryhgwellssociety@hotmail.com
  • Our updated subscription rates and GDPR statement have been posted here.
  • Now Available: The War of the Wheels: H.G. Wells and the Bicycle, by Jeremy Withers, published by Syracuse University Press. Notes from the publisher:
      Amid apocalyptic invasions and time travel, one common machine continually appears in H. G. Wells’s works: the bicycle. From his scientific romances and social comedies to utopias, futurological speculations, and letters, Wells’s texts brim with bicycles. In The War of the Wheels, Withers examines this mode of transportation as both something that played a significant role in Wells’s personal life and as a literary device for creating elaborate characters and exploring complex themes. Withers traces Wells’s ambivalent relationship with the bicycle throughout his writing. Moving into the twenty-first century, Withers reflects on how the works of H. G. Wells can serve as a valuable locus for thinking through many of our current issues and problems related to transportation, mobility, and sustainability.
  • Now available: Utopian Literature and Science: From the Scientific Revolution to Brave New World and Beyond by Patrick Parrinder (Palgrave Macmillan): “Scientific progress is usually seen as a precondition of modern utopias, but science and utopia are frequently at odds. Utopian Literature and Science traces the interactions of sciences such as astronomy, microscopy, genetics and anthropology with 19th- and 20th-century utopian and dystopian writing and modern science fiction. Ranging from Galileo’s observations with the telescope to current ideas of the post-human and the human-animal boundary, the author’s re-examination of key literary texts brings a fresh perspective to the paradoxes of utopian thinking since Plato. This book is essential reading for teachers and students of literature and science studies, utopian studies, and science fiction studies, as well as students of 19th and early 20th-century literature more generally.” Click here to order.

Have an H.G. Wells-related announcement? Forward it to the Webmaster.