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A Guide to The Red Room

Shirley Bierman | Monday April 29, 2013

Categories: KS4, AQA GCSE, WJEC Eduqas GCSE, AQA English Literature, Unit 4 Approaching Shakespeare, WJEC GCSE English Literature, Unit 3 Poetry and Drama


H.G. (Herbert George) Wells was born on September 21st 1866 and died in 1946, a year after WW2 ended. He came from a working class background but thanks to a small inheritance, his parents ran a hardware shop in Kent but this became financially insolvent and a burden on the family.  His own background is what inspired him to write in the genres he did – entertaining stories that, through their absorbing often futuristic plots allowed him to comment, convincingly, on issues he felt needed addressing in his own society. He was a man who wondered about the impact that science, technology, religion and capitalism were having and would have on society as the pace of change was happening rapidly during his lifetime.

When he was only 7 years old, Wells suffered a serious accident that confined him to bed for many months. It was here that his passion for reading grew and he was lucky to be able to borrow books from the vast library of a country house where his mother worked as a housekeeper. Starting work, he trained as an apprentice at a draper’s shop but disliked this job immensely so he resigned from this and went into teaching; Wells was to go on to win a scholarship at The Royal College of Science which instilled his love and passion for science fiction writing.

He supported socialist ideas of equality and for a time was a member of the intellectual socialist Fabian Society supporting peaceful and gradual social change. His views on the impact of organised religion on people’s lives had a huge impact on his writing and in what he felt about God and Christianity: ‘…it is not now true for me… Every believing Christian is, I am sure, my spiritual brother…but if systematically I called myself a Christian I feel that to most men I should imply too much and so tell a lie.’ He did not believe himself a Christian in his adult life and eventually rejected God and religion favouring an atheist’s view instead. He...

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