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The Invisible Man

Part of The Art of the Novella

H.G. Wells’s classic The Invisible Man is an artful combination of a psychological thriller and science fiction novel. A young scientist who discovers the secret of invisibility feels initial joy at his newfound freedoms and abilities, but quickly turns to despair when he realizes the many things he has sacrificed in the pursuit of science. While he struggles to create the formula that will restore his visibility and his connection to other people, murder and mayhem ensue.

HERBERT GEORGE WELLS was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady’s maid. Although “Bertie” left school at fourteen to become a draper’s apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893. In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher’s salary. His other “scientific romances”–The Island of Dr. Moreau(1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908)–won him distinction as the father of science fiction.

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