H. G. Wells eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 52 pages of information about H. G. Wells.
political propaganda in The New Machiavelli, a suggested solution that was, at the best, something half-hearted.  And Stafford’s escape, and his version of going to the mountain apart—­by way of a sight of the East and of America—­bring us back to that integral theme which I have so insisted upon, even at the risk of tedious repetition.  “I was already beginning to see the great problem of mankind,” writes Stafford, “as indeed nothing other than a magnification of the little problem of myself, as a problem in escape from grooves, from preoccupations and suspicions, precautions and ancient angers....  For all of us, as for each of us, salvation is that.  We have to get away from ourselves to a greater thing, to a giant’s desire and an unending life, ours and yet not our own.”

The last novel published at the time I write is The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman (1914).  The same theme is presented, but in other circumstances.  Ellen Sawbridge, when she married, at eighteen, the founder and proprietor of “The International Bread Shops,” was an ingenuous schoolgirl; and for more than seven years the change from a relatively independent poverty to the luxuries she could enjoy as the wife of a man who had not outgrown the Eastern theory with regard to the position of women, sufficed to keep her reasonably content.  Mr Brumley was the instrument of Fate that seriously disturbed her satisfaction; but she must have come to much the same crisis, if Mr Brumley had never existed.  Brumley was a writer, but he was not one of “the really imaginative people, the people with vision, the people who let themselves go”—­I quote the expression of George Wilkins, the novelist—­and Lady Harman never fell very deeply in love with him.  Nevertheless it was through Brumley’s interference with her life that she faced the crux of her position as the closely restricted occupant of “a harem of one.”  She never broke out of that cage.  One desperate effort led her, by way of a suffragist demonstration on a post office window, to a month’s freedom in prison; but Sir Isaac and society were too clever and too strong for her.  When she was enlarged from the solitude of confinement in a cell, she was tricked and bullied into the resumption of her marital engagements.  And presumably she must have continued to act as the nurse of her now invalid husband for the rest of her life, suffering the indignities of his abuse and the restrictions of liberty that the paid attendant may escape by a change of situation, if release had not come through Sir Isaac’s death.  By that time Lady Harman had learnt her lesson.  I am distinctly sorry for Mr Brumley, but I should have been seriously disappointed in Ellen Harman if she had consented to marry him.

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H. G. Wells from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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