BOOK REVIEW – H. G. WELLS – FIRST AND LAST THINGS 1929 Rationalist Press Association (RPA) Thinker’s Library Collection.
Not a novel, but a collection of rather dull fragmented, rambling essays in which Wells tries to present what he calls his own personal philosophy of life.
In fact, all he does is to regurgitate a elements of thought that had been developed by John Locke and David Hume, with barely any acknowledgement, trying to make out that he has thought up the whole system of thought all by himself.
Wells is dismissive of organized religion, but he sees his faith in a collective sense of humanity striving for excellence as a religious creed in itself. He sees each human as a holistic, noble part of some great entity of humanity stretching across time and space.
Wells marvels at the nature of the atom, recognising how alien and extra-ordinary such a world would be if we were able to directly perceive it.
Switching to political thinking, wells praises Fabian Society Socialism, but he is dismissive of the Russian Communist model developed under Lenin.
The book initially promises to be autobiographical, but Wells presents little insight into his own amazing life. Instead, he pontificates and rambles on about a wide range of subjects. He tells us that he supports feminism, but he offers no real insight into his views on women. He divides the book into sections on physics, metaphysics and politics, and tries to sound like an authoritive expert in each topic discussed, but he has little to really offer on any subject covered.
With his literary success assured, Wells began to see himself as a prophetic spokesman for the future of mankind. He still had much to offer, but this book reflects his most opinionated ramblings. Without his name being so well known by this stage, the book may not have gone to press.
© Copyright. Arthur Chappell
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