Lot 2307
Sold for US$ 10,200 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Autograph Letter Signed Integrally (“Mr. H.G. Wells”), 4 pp recto and verso, 8vo (conjoining leaves), n.p., [probably 1898], containing a tongue-in-cheek literary biography, extra-illustrated by Wells with four caricatures of himself, leaves moderately soiled and thumbed.

Documentation accompanying this letter indicates that it was sent to Henry Davray, translator of Wells’ work into French and a literary scholar in his own right. Beneath humorous sketches of himself (as paunchy and balding), Wells gives a brief biography of his career as a writer: “Mr. H.G. Wells Born 1866 is of plebian origin & was educated in a variegated manner, was for two years a draper, & then had three years at the Royal College of Science London … First article accepted by Frank Harris (the editor of Fortnightly Review) in 1890 was a paradoxical argument to show the unreasonableness of logic. Then article in Pall Mall Gazette, Globe & St. James Gazette, & finally position on Pall Mall Gazette (1894) …. Attempted the story form first at the suggestion of Lewis Hurd (now editor at the Academy) when he was editing the Pall Mall Budget … Encouraged by the success … I wrote the Time Machine, which Huxley published in the New Review (early in 1895). / Since then I have been experimenting in two different directions. (A) Highly coloured romance based on ideas of a scientific sort & (B) stories in which character is the central interest … The following books fall under group A; The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) The Invisible Man (1897) The War of the Worlds (1898) & When the Sleep wakes (to appear in spring 1899)….”
See illustration.
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