H G Wells: Another Kind of Life

From The Telegraph:

Wellsstory_1631055f A photograph taken in 1895 shows H G Wells whizzing along on an early bicycle, with his wife perched nervously on the handlebars. It was a characteristic choice of transport: 1895 was also the year he published The Time Machine, which carefully avoids describing the machine itself in any detail, but pauses lovingly over its “saddle”, as if Wells thought of it as little more than a customised bicycle speeding towards the future. It was one of the many bicycles that wobble their way through his fiction, like little models of the freedom and progress he championed throughout his life. Still, given the number of lovers he managed to collect over the years, as revealed in this sympathetic but clear-eyed biography, he would have been better off learning to drive a bus.

Wells’s sex life had an unpromising start. A short, weedy youth with a squeaky voice, his early experiences were limited to teenage fumbling (“hot, uncomfortable, shamefaced stuff”), and he seems to have been writing from experience when he described the disastrous wedding night of a fictional character for whom “maidenhead” means “the one on the road to Reading”.

More here.