WELLS (H.G.) The Sea Lady. A Tissue of Moonshine, inscribed "To Henry Hick from H.G. Wells" on front endpaper, half-title, 40 pages of advertisements (dated 'July 1902') [Wells 21], Methuen, 1902; Mankind in the Making, inscribed "To Doctor Hick from his Happy Patient H.G. Wells. N.B. Not to be lent" Let 'em buy a copy" on half-title [Wells 22], FIRST EDITIONS, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPIES, INSCRIBED TO HENRY HICK, rubbed, 8vo (3)

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Lot 229
WELLS (H.G.)
The Sea Lady. A Tissue of Moonshine, inscribed "To Henry Hick from H.G. Wells" on front endpaper, half-title, 40 pages of advertisements (dated 'July 1902') [Wells 21], Methuen, 1902; Mankind in the Making, inscribed "To Doctor Hick from his Happy Patient H.G. Wells. N.B. Not to be lent" Let 'em buy a copy" on half-title [Wells 22], FIRST EDITIONS, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPIES, INSCRIBED TO HENRY HICK, rubbed, 8vo (3)

Sold for £ 2,125 (US$ 2,996) inc. premium
WELLS (H.G.)
The Sea Lady. A Tissue of Moonshine, inscribed "To Henry Hick from H.G. Wells" on front endpaper, half-title, 40 pages of advertisements (dated 'July 1902') [Wells 21], Methuen, 1902; Mankind in the Making, inscribed "To Doctor Hick from his Happy Patient H.G. Wells. N.B. Not to be lent" Let 'em buy a copy" on half-title [Wells 22], Chapman and Hall, 1903; The Food of the Gods and How it Came to Earth, inscribed "To Hy. Hick from H.G. Wells" on half-title, publisher's advertisements (dated '20.7.04") at end, Macmillan, 1904, FIRST EDITIONS, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPIES, INSCRIBED TO HENRY HICK, rubbed, 8vo (3)

Footnotes

  • "TO DOCTOR HICK FROM HIS HAPPY PATIENT" - three warmly inscribed presentation copies. Henry Hick had been recommended to Wells as a doctor by George Gissing, a close lifelong of Hick since their early years in Wakefield. On Gissing's death in 1903 Wells was asked to contribute a tribute of his fellow author to be used as a preface to Gissing's posthumously printed novel Veranilda but, rejected by his executors, subsequently appeared in The Monthly Review. "When Dr. Hick saw the revised preface in The Monthly Review [August 1904], he blew up. He read its references to Gissing's persistant ill health... [feeling it to be] as good as a public announcement that Gissing had been a syphilitic... his fury knew no bounds" (Anthony West, H.G. Wells. Aspects of a Life, 1984) which led to a serious falling out being the two men. According to West, Wells' son and biographer, "My father had liked Dr. Hick, and was much wounded by some of the things that he felt called upon to say in his anger. He was particularly hurt by the doctor's observation that the memoir was just what he should have expected from a man with my father's background". Our copy of The Food of Gods was presumably inscribed from Wells to Hick in either July or August 1904 (the month in which his contentious article appeared). That Wells inscribed, with an affectionate note, a copy of Kipps to Hicks in 1905 (see lot 231) suggests that the falling out between the two men was not as final as West suggested.

    Provenance: Henry Hick, gift inscription from the author; thence by descent to the present owner.
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