The H.G. Wells Society was founded 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. 2016 saw the society organise an international conference in Woking, the fictional invasion site for the Martians in The War of the Worlds, to mark the 150th anniversary of H.G. Wells’ birth.
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.
Chairperson – Paul Allen
Secretary – Brian Jukes
Treasurer – Valerie Fitch
Publicity Officer – John Green
The Wellsian Editor – Dr. Maxim Shadurski
Newsletter Editor – Dr. Harry Wood
Publicity Officer – Dr. Emelyne Godfrey (email@example.com)
Membership Officer – Eric Fitch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Webmaster – Charles Keller (email@example.com)
SOCIETY NEWS AND EVENTS
- Celebrate Woking have posted the following information on their website about the upcoming events for Wells in Woking – 150th Anniversary: 1866-2016.
- Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Half a Sixpence transfers to the West End’s Noel Coward Theatre for a run beginning November 17th. A brand new stage adaptation of the popular musical, Half a Sixpence is based on H.G Wells’ semi-autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul.
- R.M. Lloyd Parry and the Nunkie Theatre are presenting a performance of The Time Machine in Britain this September and October. Details here. Also, to partially fund the tour, a Kickstarter campaign has been launched where people, in return for donations large or small, can get various Time Machine-related rewards. Details here.
- The Folio Society has published a limited edition facsimile of The Door in the Wall, with photogravures by Alvin Langdon Coburn, along with essays by David Lodge and George Hendrick. Additional information here.
- In the Footsteps of H.G. Wells is an unled walk in the riverine meadows along side the Western River Rother to Iping, with return to Midhurst, where Wells attended Midhurst Grammar – now adjoining The South Downs National Park Authority. The site’s map will be updated shortly.
- 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.
- Now available: Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells: The Fin de Siecle Literary Scene (Basingstoke: Palgrave), by Linda Dryden. This book traces the literary friendship between Conrad and Wells through their letters, non-fiction writing and through original analyses of selected novels of both authors.
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