See caption
H. G. Wells, c. 1918
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Select Conversations with an Uncle (now Extinct) and Two Other Reminiscences is a collection of humorous essays written by the English author H. G. Wells (1866–1946), published in 1895. It consists of reports of twelve conversations between George and his witty uncle – a man who, “by the purest accident”, has acquired a “certain affluence” while in South Africa – and two reminiscences: “A Misunderstood Artist” and “The Man with a NoseShort story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894, about a man's reflections on his unsightly nose.“.[1] All the essays had previously been published in the Pall Mall GazetteEvening newspaper launched in London on 7 February 1865. It introduced investigative journalism into British journalism, along with other innovations.Evening newspaper launched in London on 7 February 1865. It introduced investigative journalism into British journalism, along with other innovations..[2]

Contents


Stories are shown in the order in which they appear in the book, which is not necessarily the order in which they first appeared in print.

  • “Of Conversation and The Anatomy of Fashion” (1894)
  • “The Theory of The Perpetual Discomfort of Humanity” (1894)
  • “The Use of Ideals” (1893)
  • “The Art of Being Photographed” (1893)
  • “Bagshot’s Mural Decorations” (1894)
  • “On Social Music” (1894)
  • “The Joys of Being Engaged” (1893)
  • “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” (1894)
  • “On a Tricycle”(1894)
  • “An Unsuspected Masterpiece” (1894)
  • “The Great Change” (1894)
  • “The Pains of Marriage” (1894)
  • “A Misunderstood Artist” (1894)
  • The Man With a NoseShort story by H. G. Wells first published in 1894, about a man's reflections on his unsightly nose.” (1894)

Commentary


The character of the uncle appears to be based on Wells’s own uncle, Alfred Williams, for whom Wells worked briefly as a pupil-teacher at Wookey village school.[1]

Wells’s “uncle” character had been “very well received” in the Pall Mall GazetteEvening newspaper launched in London on 7 February 1865. It introduced investigative journalism into British journalism, along with other innovations.Evening newspaper launched in London on 7 February 1865. It introduced investigative journalism into British journalism, along with other innovations.,[3] but this collected edition received less favourable attention. One reviewer in the Athenaeum described it as “a dreary and foolish assemblage of commonplace ideas expressed in stilted phraseology.”[4]

See also


  • H. G. Wells bibliographyList of publications written by H. G. Wells during the more than fifty years of his literary career.

References



Bibliography


Hammond, J. R. An H. G. Wells Companion. The Macmillan Press, 1979.
MacKenzie, Norman. H. G. Wells: A Biography. Simon and Schuster, 1973.
Sherborne, Michael. H. G. Wells: Another Kind of Life. Peter Owen, 2010.
Smith, David C. H. G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography. Yale University Press, 1986.