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  • Published: 1 February 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241976760
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $9.99

The Rights of Man




H. G. Wells' seminal human rights manifesto reissued with an original introduction by Ali Smith

Written in 1940 in response to the ongoing war with Germany, this fearlessly progressive manifesto of universal human rights addresses itself to the question of what Britain was fighting for - what a just and stable world should and could look like. After the Second World War concluded, it became the inspiration for the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the EU's European Convention on Human Rights and the UK's Human Rights Act. It continues to be an utterly apposite political text in our modern world.

In view of the current humanitarian crisis facing the international community, and in light of the British government's plans to dismantle our Human Rights Act, Hamish Hamilton are reissuing H. G. Wells' seminal humanitarian manifesto. With a new introduction by Ali Smith, this is campaigning publishing intended to stimulate debate and contribute to one of the most vitally important fights of our era.

  • Published: 1 February 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241976760
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $9.99

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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