WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946. Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99,

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Lot 11
WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946.
Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99,

Sold for US$ 143,000 inc. premium

Fine Literature

11 Apr 2016, 10:00 EDT

New York

WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946.
Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99, in ink and typed with corrections. Bound in navy blue straight-grained morocco, lettered in gilt. Custom chemise and morocco slipcase. Joints and extremities rubbed, some smaller pages are mounted to album leaves with a little darkening to adhesive; overall excellent condition.
Provenance: Arthur M. Brown (bookplate; his sale Parke Bernet, April 6, 1948, Lot 611); Swann, April 21, 1994, Lot 157.
WITH: Autographed Card Signed ("H.G. Wells"), 2 pp recto and verso, oblong 16mo, London, October 1917, to Edmond Byrne Hackett, the first director of the Brick Row Book Shop in New Haven, Connecticut, within mailing envelope labeled "OPEN BY CENSOR," somewhat soiled.

The early working draft for the original version of the novel, serialized in the Graphic, published in book form in 1899, and subsequently reworked in 1910. Wells is best known for such classic science fiction as The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). Wells said "It is one of the most ambitious and least satisfactory of my books," he admitted in the preface to the later edition, "and I have taken the opportunity afforded by this reprinting to make a number of excisions and alterations. Like most of my earlier work, it was written under considerable pressure; there are marks of haste not only in the writing of the latter part, but in the very construction of the story." He explained his role now was to be "an editorial elder brother: cut out relentlessly a number of long tiresome passages that showed all too plainly the fagged, toiling brain, the heavy sluggish driven pen, and straightened out certain indecisions at the end. Except for that, I have done no more than hack here and there at clumsy phrases and repetitions." The current manuscript was his early working draft for the original version of the novel, what he called a "phase typescript-manuscript" that combines both handwritten and typed leaves, heavily edited with numerous pages affixed with trimmed revisions. In the note included with this manuscript, Wells informs Hackett, presumably the purchaser of the manuscript, "Such a thing as a complete MS of any of mine does not exist. I write on all sorts of scrap which are typed, and these typescripts hacked about and so on." Obviously inspired by Edward Bellamy's famous speculative fiction Looking Backward, When the Sleeper Wakes describes how a Londoner falls into a trance while trying to cure his insomnia in 1897 and awakens in the year 2100. Through an odd circumstance, he is now the wealthiest man in the world, known as The Sleeper. The future, Wells argues, will be full of technological advances but also rampant social injustice due to the unscrupulous practices of the trustees of the hero's vast estate. Woody Allen based his 1973 comedy film Sleeper loosely on Wells' story.

Manuscripts by H.G. Wells rarely come to the market, presumably in part due to the process that Wells describes in this note, constantly changing and amending each chapter, as sometimes shown in this manuscript, ultimately to the point of almost complete destruction of his first words. In the last 40 years just 3 substantial (over 50 leaves) typed or manuscript stories by Wells have appeared at auction. This was the last to be offered, 22 years ago.
Contacts
WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946. Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99,
WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946. Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99,
WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946. Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99,
WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946. Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99,
WELLS, HERBERT GEORGE. 1866-1946. Autograph and Typed Manuscript Signed ("H.G. Wells"), being chapters 12-25 of the novel When the Sleeper Wakes, 423 pp, 4to, Heatherlea, Worcester Park, London, c.1898-99,
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