THE HISTORY OF MR WELLS
Sunday 03 March 1996
Wells stayed at the stately home Uppark as a young boy, where his mother was the (rather incompetent) housekeeper. When snowed in there one winter, the boy produced a daily newspaper called the Up Park Alarmist; he also found a telescope in one of the attics with which he looked at moon-craters, thus demonstrating an early interest in science.
Much of The Invisible Man is set in Iping. Checkshill Park in In the Days of the Comet, Shonts in Bealby and Bladesover in Tono-Bungay are based on Uppark, and "Wimblehurst" is one of many stand-ins in for Midhurst.
The compilers of a new booklet, H G Wells in West Sussex, track the author assiduously, finding echoes of Uppark everywhere in the work. "Is the sharply evoked sub-lunar world [of The First Men in the Moon] another oblique reference to Wells' experience of below-stairs life at Uppark ... ?" They may well ask. The recent eerie resurrection of the house in replica, after the devastating 1989 fire which reduced it to a blackened shell, adds a touch of sci-fi worthy of Wells himself.
! 'H G Wells in West Sussex' is available (pounds 1) from libraries in West Sussex or by post (pounds 1.25) from the Information Office, West Sussex County Council, County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ.
! H G Wells festival 1996 ( 01243 533911)
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
The Hateful Eight trailer: Teaser for Quentin Tarantino film leaks early
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile