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.
Chairperson – Dr. Emelyne Godfrey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 (email@example.com)
Webmaster – Charles Keller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SOCIETY NEWS AND EVENTS
- Wells/Orwell Relationship under the Spotlight as Societies Meet for the First Time
A joint meeting between the George Orwell Society and the H. G. Wells Society is to be held in Fitzroy Square, London, on Friday July 19. The meeting is open to the public – and free.
Professor Tim Crook, of Goldsmiths, University of London, will speak on ‘Orwell and H. G. Wells: Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Rights of Man’ while the title of the talk by Les Hurst, an Orwell Society committee member, is ‘A Flower Does Not Become Less Wonderful’. He comments: ‘If George Orwell did not know the scientific method when the Second World War began, he had mastered it by the end. On the way it was one of the tools with which he analysed the work of H. G. Wells, to Wells’s chagrin.’
Professor Patrick Parrinder, of Reading University and President of the H. G. Wells Society, will speak on ‘Orwell and Wells’s The Sleeper Awakes‘.
Richard Blair, Patron of the Orwell Society and son of George Orwell, will talk on the activities of the OS.
- HG Wells Society members and friends are welcome to join us on an informal get together at Shaw’s Corner, Welwyn on Saturday 20 July 2019, starting from 2.30pm at the entrance to the house itself at Shaw’s Corner. Entry for National Trust members is free and for non-members £8.50. We will take a tour of the house and join the Shaw Society for a picnic at the Palladian Church before a performance of Arms and the Man. Click here for more information
- H.G. Wells Society Annual Conference 2019 – Men in the Moon: The Ideas and Correspondence of H.G. Wells and Sir Winston Churchill
The year 2019 marks the anniversary of the first draft of Churchill’s essay, Are We Alone in Space? (1939), which was closely preceded by Orson Welles’s broadcast of The War of the Worlds. ‘I read everything you write,’ Churchill told Wells with whom he shared a passion for science fiction, scientific discovery and a concern over the impact of technological advances on warfare and the future of mankind. This conference is set against a backdrop of ever-changing London, the city with which Wells and Churchill are closely linked, a place of visions, nightmares and dreams. Click the above link or the ‘Info & Events’ drop-down in the menu bar.
The next four attendees to pay full price conference tickets will each receive a copy on the day of Graham Farmelo’s new book, hot off the press, The Universe Speaks in Numbers. Courtesy of Faber & Faber.
- Our updated subscription rates and GDPR statement have been posted here.
- Now Available: Utopias and Dystopias in the Fiction of H. G. Wells and William Morris, edited by Emelyne Godfrey, with contributions by Michael Sherborne and Patrick Parrinder. Click the link for more information.
- 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.
- 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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