The History of Mr. Polly (Google eBook)

Front Cover, Dec 5, 2010 - Fiction - 375 pages
9 Reviews

The History of Mr. Polly is a 1910 comic novel by H. G. Wells. The novel's principal conflict is Mr. Polly's struggle with life, told "in the full-blooded Dickens tradition." This moral struggle is slow to develop, for Mr. Polly is a stunted, rather than a gifted or self-confident character. He is not without imagination and a flair for language, but his mind is "at once too vivid in its impressions and too easily fatigued."

The History of Mr. Polly received mostly enthusiastic reviews. The novel has been called "a complete comic miracle."

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Mr. Polly' has been called a "wonderful incarnation of what might have happened to Wells without education, a Wells driven to use the words bubbling in him and getting them all so delightfully muddled." But Wells said his protagonist was based not on himself, but on his older brother Frank.


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Review: The History of Mr. Polly

User Review  - Alicia - Goodreads

ISBN: 0-141-44107-0 1910, 2005 10 chapters/202pp Just couldn't get through the first chapter, so I'm not going to try. Usually I try to persevere if I've made it through several chapters before ... Read full review

Review: The History of Mr. Polly

User Review  - John Molyneux - Goodreads

As an HG Wells fan, thought I'd give this book a read, while on holiday. Completely different from most Wells I've read, (ie not sci fi), so consequently, not really my favourite. Having said that, it ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

Herbert George "H. G." Wells was an English writer, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing textbooks and rules for war games. Wells is one person sometimes called "The Father of Science Fiction", as are Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback. His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.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 from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathizing with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of "Journalist." Most of his later novels were not science fiction. Some described lower-middle class life (Kipps; The History of Mr Polly), leading him to be touted as 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.

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In 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel Mary Wells; the couple agreed to separate in 1894 when he fell in love with one of his students, Amy Catherine Robbins (known as Jane), whom he married in 1895. Poor health took him to Sandgate, near Folkestone, where in 1901 he constructed a large family home: Spade House. He had two sons with Jane: George Philip (known as "Gip") in 1901 (d.1985) and Frank Richard in 1903 (d.1982). The marriage lasted until her death in 1927. With his wife Jane's consent, Wells had affairs with a number of women, including the American birth control activist Margaret Sanger and novelist Elizabeth von Arnim. In 1909 he had a daughter, Anna-Jane, with the writer Amber Reeves, whose parents, William and Maud Pember Reeves, he had met through the Fabian Society; and in 1914, a son, Anthony West (1914?1987), by the novelist and feminist Rebecca West, twenty-six years his junior. In Experiment in Autobiography (1934), Wells wrote: "I was never a great amorist, though I have loved several people very deeply."

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