Half calf binding with tan cloth boards. Gilt R K stamped on front board. Red title plates with gilt lettering and banding on the spine. Presentation copy.
H.G. Wells personal signed copy with production notes etc.
The Man Who Could Work Miracles is a black-and-white 1937 British fantasy-comedy film directed by the German-born American director Lothar Mendes. Reputedly the best-known of Mendes’ 20 films, it’s a greatly expanded version of H. G. Wells’s 1898 short story of the same name and stars Roland Young with a cast of supporting players including Sir Ralph Richardson, in a London Films production from the famous Hungarian-born British producer, Sir Alexander Korda. H. G. Wells himself worked on the adaptation, revising the plot to reflect his socialist frustrations with the British upper class, and the growing threat of Communism, Fascism and Nazism in Europe at the time, something which Mendes, Korda and Wells were all committed to combating in their creative work.
Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. His work also included two books on recreational war games. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the “father of science fiction”, along with Jules Verne and the publisher Hugo Gernsback.
During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the “Shakespeare of science fiction”, while American writer Charles Fort referred to him as a “wild talent”.
Wells rendered his works convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption per work – dubbed “Wells’s law” – leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 as “O Realist of the Fantastic!”. His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), which was his first novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.
Wells’s earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also an outspoken socialist from a young age, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist. Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. Wells was a diabetic and co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.
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