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About the book
  • Published: 26 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780241976753
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

The Rights Of Man




H. G. Wells' revolutionary human rights manifesto is reissued by Penguin with a new introduction by fellow novelist and human rights campaigner Ali Smith

'Penguin and Pelican Specials are books of topical importance published within as short a time as possible from receipt of the manuscript. Some are reprints of famous books brought up-to-date, but usually they are entirely new books published for the first time.'

H. G. Wells wrote The Rights of Man in 1940, partly in response to the ongoing war with Germany. The fearlessly progressive ideas he set out were instrumental in the creation of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the EU's European Convention on Human Rights and the UK's Human Rights Act.
When first published, this manifesto was an urgently topical reaction to a global miscarriage of justice. It was intended to stimulate debate and make a clear statement of mankind's immutable responsibilities to itself. Seventy-five years have passed and once again we face a humanitarian crisis. In the UK our human rights are under threat in ways that they never have been before and overseas peoples are being displaced from their homelands in their millions. The international community must act decisively, cooperatively and fast. The Rights of Man is not an 'entirely new book' - but it is a book of topical importance and it has been published, now as before, in as short a time as possible, in order to react to the sudden and urgent need.
With a new introduction by award-winning novelist and human rights campaigner Ali Smith, Penguin reissues one of the most important humanitarian texts of the twentieth century in the hope that it will continue to stimulate debate and remind our leaders - and each other - of the essential priorities and responsibilities of mankind.

  • Pub date: 26 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780241976753
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells, the third son of a small shopkeeper, was born in Bromley in 1866. After two years' apprenticeship in a draper's shop, he became a pupil-teacher at Midhurst Grammar School and won a scholarship to study under T. H. Huxley at the Normal School of Science, South Kensington. He taught biology before becoming a professional writer and journalist. He wrote more than a hundred books, including novels, essays, histories and programmes for world regeneration.

Wells, who rose from obscurity to world fame, had an emotionally and intellectually turbulent life. His prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction such as The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). Later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress, whose anticipations of a future world state include The Shape of Things to Come (1933). His controversial views on sexual equality and women's rights were expressed in the novels Ann Veronica (1909) and The New Machiavelli (1911). He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, 'an important liberator of thought and action'.

Wells drew on his own early struggles in many of his best novels, including Love and Mr Lewisham (1900), Kipps (1905), Tono-Bungay (1909) and The History of Mr Polly (1910). His educational works, some written in collaboration, include The Outline of History (1920) and The Science of Life (1930). His Experiment in Autobiography (2 vols., 1934) reviews his world. He died in London in 1946.

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