HERBERT GEORGE WELLS was born on September 21, ~866, in
Bromley, England, the fourth son of Joseph Wells, a
shopkeeper and professional cricketer, and his wife, Sarah Neal,
a housekeeper at a nearby estate. Wells s early life was shaped by
two accidents. When Wells broke his leg at the age of eight, he
discovered the joys of reading during his recovery. When his
father also bro...
father also broke his leg, he could no longer play cricket pro-
fessionally, and the family finances suffered. Wells and his
brothers took apprenticeships with a local draper.
In 1883, Wells was fired from his apprenticeship. Not dis-
pleased about the change, he became a teacher and pupil at
Midhurst Grammar School and eventually won a scholarship
to the Normal School of Science in London. There he studied
under T. H. Huxley, excelling in biology and physics, but fail-
ing geology. He left the school in I887.
At loose ends, Wells lived for a while with his aunt, where he
began a relationship with his cousin Isabel, whom he married
in i89I. He taught for several years and earned his Bachelor of
Science degree in 189o. His marriage to Isabel did not last long,
and in i895 he married one of his correspondence school stu-
dents, Amy Catherine, with whom he had two sons. Linked
with several other women in his later life, Wells also fathered
children outside of marriage.
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