H. G. WELLS FIRST EDITIONS AT ASH RARE BOOKS
H. G. WELLS FIRST EDITIONS AT
FIRST EDITIONS OF H. G. WELLS
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WELLS, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 : ANN VERONICA : A MODERN LOVE STORY.
London : T. Fisher Unwin, 1909. First edition. A young woman rejects surburban conventions for science, socialism, suffragettes and living in sin – and Wells fictionalises his relationship with his mistress Amber Reeves (1887-1981), who gave birth to his daughter later in 1909. Macmillan flatly declined to publish the book and Canon Lambert railed “I would just as soon send a daughter of mine to a house infected with diphtheria or typhoid fever as put that book into her hands”.
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WELLS, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 : THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY.
London : Thomas Nelson & Sons, (1910). First edition : the first issue with the advertisement for John Masefield’s “Trepanned” – a quirky title subsequently discarded before publication. “What could be more human or more humorous than Mr Polly as haberdasher’s apprentice, haberdasher incendiary, and tramp” (Montrose Standard, 13th May 1910) – “He hated Foxbourne, he hated Foxbourne High Street, he hated his shop and his wife and his neighbours – every blessed neighbour – and with indescribable bitterness he hated himself”. High comedy in the drapery trade – Wells wouldn’t quite concede that this was his best book, but “certainly it is his happiest book, and the one he cares for the most”.
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WELLS, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 : THE BULPINGTON OF BLUP : ADVENTURES, POSES, STRESSES, CONFLICTS AND DISASTER IN A CONTEMPORARY BRAIN.
London : Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers), . First edition : in the primary binding in black cloth, with the pictorial endpapers. “I am a liar in a world of lies” – a much under-rated late Wells novel – a Jungian exploration of the psychological impact of the Great War, the principal character based at least in part on Ford Madox Ford. Dedicated to Wells’ current mistress, Odette Keun.
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WELLS, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 : THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
London : Secker & Warburg, 1940. First edition. An uncommon late Wells – as a World War develops he advances a grim choice between revolution and destruction – “I mean exactly what I say, the disastrous extinction of mankind”. He proposes a “way to a world realisation of collective unity”, via scientifically planned and directed socialism, the rule of law, and total freedom of speech. “The book is full of things that bite and sting ... He is at any rate thoroughly alive. And towards the end he rejoices ... ‘The world has never been so awake’”(Aberdeen Press, 1st January 1940).
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