HG Wells the Writer and Thinker

Wells' reputation as a writer was already in the ascendency before he decided to set up home in Sandgate. Often serialised in publications such as The National Observer and the Pall Mall Gazette, he had already gained popularity with his futuristic science fiction (or scientific romances) and short stories.

These included the novella The Time Machine a theme that he had previously considered in his story The Chronic Argonauts that was published in The Science School Journal, a college magazine founded and edited by himself when he was a biology student at the Normal School of Science London now Imperial College.

The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds and The Island of Doctor Moreau all blockbusters of the time had been published a year or two before his move to Sandgate. The War of the Worlds was available to the public only seven months before Wells arrived in Sandgate.

By the time he arrived in Sandgate, Wells' writing was becoming even more focussed but at the same time more varied. The result was the writing and publication of many of his major works of fiction, prophecy and his nonfiction polemical works.

In the early 1900s he started to move away from mainly writing scientific romances (as they were known at the time) and began exploring different genre. Alongside his scientific romances such as The First Men in the Moon and When the Sleeper Awakes he wrote novels such as Love and Mr Lewisham of which he said that the writing was an altogether more serious undertaking than I have ever done before.

He also composed utopian novels including A Modern Utopia and In the Days of the Comet and prophesied and disseminated his burgeoning ideas in works like Anticipations and Mankind in the Making. He drew on the world around him here at Sandgate writing The Sea Lady: A Tissue of Moonshine, and creating social comedies The History of Mr Polly and Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul. The latter drew heavily on his own experience as a drapers' apprentice, an experience he hated.

The earlier influence of T. H. Huxley and William Morris reinforced Wells' views as a socialist which he expressed in books such as New Worlds For Old and articles like Will Socialism Destroy the Home?. He defined socialism as a banding together of men for the purpose of mutual happiness. He did not support the idea of class warfare and was not therefore a fan of Marxism but he saw education and equal opportunity as the way to facilitate change and social inclusion.

He found time to serve as a Magistrate in Folkestone.