Wells the family man

Wells first married his cousin Isabel Mary Wells in 1894 but it was to come to an end only three years later. He then married one of his students, Amy Catherine Robbins (Jane), in 1895 and despite his unconventional views on free-love, this relationship was to last until her death in 1927 although they did spend much time apart.

They had two sons, both born in Sandgate, George Philip, born in 1901 and known as Gip and Frank Richard born two years later. Wells was delighted with fatherhood and, through a character in Mr Britling Sees It Through, a novel set in the First World War, said "the love of children is an exquisite tenderness; it rends the heart. It's a thing of God."

Wells had always used childlike cartoons which he called picshuas in correspondence particularly within the family, such as this one of waves breaking over Beach Cottage and they would be accompanied by the use of endearing nicknames; he was Bins and Jane was Bits.

As well as the improvement in his health, the family's stay in Sandgate was generally a happy one and Wells and his sons would invent war games that were played out on the lounge floor. Wells even found time to explain the rules in two booklets Little Wars and a companion piece called Floor Games.

He said that the games could be played by boys of every age from twelve to one hundred and fifty and endless hours were spent enjoying and refining the games in Spade House.