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157 Inspiring Quotes by H. G. Wells

  • Last updated Jul 27 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by H. G. Wells.

Wikipedia Summary for H. G. Wells

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. His work also included two books on recreational war games. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and the publisher Hugo Gernsback.

During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction".

Wells rendered his works convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption – dubbed “Wells's law” – leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 as "O Realist of the Fantastic!". His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.

Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also an outspoken Socialist from a young age, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist. Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. Wells was a diabetic and co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.


person on road at sunset

Instead of offering me a Garibaldi biscuit, she asked me with that faint lisp of hers, to 'have some squashed flies, George'.

--H. G. Wells

blue wall during daytime

A young mistress is better than an old master.

--H. G. Wells

Dark purple to red to orange gradient

The doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven, which was the main teaching of Jesus, is certainly one of the most revolutionary doctrines that ever stirred and changed human thought.

--H. G. Wells

long exposure photography of beach

Success is to be measured not by wealth, power, or fame, but by the ratio between what a man is and what he might be.

--H. G. Wells

purple and blue light illustration

Very much indeed of what we call moral education is such an artificial modification and perversion of instinct; pugnacity is trained into courageous self-sacrifice, and suppressed sexuality into religious emotion.

--H. G. Wells

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

Biologists can be just as sensitive to heresy as theologians.

--H. G. Wells

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Biologically the species is the accumulation of the experiments of all its successful individuals since the beginning.

--H. G. Wells

silhouette of off-road car

Once you lose yourself, you have two choices: find the person you used to be, or lose that person completely.

--H. G. Wells


None

IBM is helping to greatly advance and expedite quality sampling while providing our project investigators peace of mind that the information they are gathering is securely stored and protected.

--H. G. Wells

yellow and black striped background

Life, forever dying to be born afresh, forever young and eager, will presently stand upon this Earth as upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars.

--H. G. Wells



fawn pug on bed

It's no use locking the door after the steed is stolen.

--H. G. Wells

green artificial palm tree on seashore

Man is the unnatural animal, the rebel child of nature, and more and more does he turn himself against the harsh and fitful hand that reared him.

--H. G. Wells

three person looking stars and milky way

Tell the truth and read story books;it will take you to the magical moment in a glory night.

--H. G. Wells

blue sky

So utterly at variance is Destiny with all the little plans of men.

--H. G. Wells


body of water under blue sky during daytime

The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the things we have made of ourselves on the other.

--H. G. Wells

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

The past is the beginning of the beginning and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.

--H. G. Wells



shoreline during golden hour

I do not believe I have any immortality. The greatest evil in the world today is the Christian religion.

--H. G. Wells

foggy mountain summit

Lies are the mortar that binds the savage individual man into the social masonry.

--H. G. Wells

person holding flowers

Fools make researches and wise men exploit them.

--H. G. Wells


desert grassland

"It's against reason," said Filby. "What reason?" said the Time Traveller.

--H. G. Wells





boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge.

--H. G. Wells

pink and yellow flower painting

The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.

--H. G. Wells


coconut tree near body of water

Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.

--H. G. Wells


woman holding Pug puppy

Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.

--H. G. Wells

man and woman kissing beside body of water during daytime

The future is the shape of things to come.

--H. G. Wells

pink and blue painted wall

In all the round world there is no meat. There used to be. But now we cannot stand the thought of slaughterhouses.

--H. G. Wells

Longer Version:

In all the round world of Utopia there is no meat. There used to be, but now we cannot stand the thought of slaughterhouses. And it is impossible to find anyone who will hew a dead ox or pig. I can still remember as a boy the rejoicings over the closing of the last slaughterhouse.


fine trees waving

If there is no God, nothing matters. If there is a God, nothing else matters.

--H. G. Wells


palm tree under orange sky

Losing your way on a journey is unfortunate. But, losing your reason for the journey is a fate more cruel.

--H. G. Wells



white desk lamp beside green plant

The serious people who took him seriously never felt quite sure of his deportment; they were somehow aware that trusting their reputations for judgment with him was like furnishing a nursery with egg-shell china.

--H. G. Wells


yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

Some people bear three kinds of trouble -- the ones they've had, the ones they have, and the ones they expect to have.

--H. G. Wells

yellow and white color illustration

Christ is the most unique person of history. No man can write a history of the human race without giving first and foremost place to the penniless Teacher of Nazareth.

--H. G. Wells


person in black shoes standing on gray concrete floor

The science hangs like a gathering fog in a valley, a fog which begins nowhere and goes nowhere, an incidental, unmeaning inconvenience to passers-by.

--H. G. Wells

closeup photo of violin on brown surface

Are we all bubbles blown by a baby?

--H. G. Wells

brown mountain

Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough -- -as most wrong theories are!

--H. G. Wells

black and gray Canon AE-1 camera on gray sand under brown dock near body of water at daytime

The brain upon which my experiences have been written is not a particularly good one. If their were brain-shows, as there are cat and dog shows, I doubt if it would get even a third class prize.

--H. G. Wells

yellow flower field during sunset

Non-violence is the policy of the vegetable kingdom.

--H. G. Wells

icy mountain scenery

The professional military mind is by necessity an inferior and unimaginative mind; no man of high intellectual quality would willingly imprison his gifts in such a calling.

--H. G. Wells

adobe wall

Patriotism has become a mere national self assertion, a sentimentality of flag-cheering with no constructive duties.

--H. G. Wells


green textile in close up image

With wine and food, the confidence of my own table, and the necessity of reassuring my wife, I grew by insensible degrees courageous and secure.

--H. G. Wells

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

For all my desire to be interesting, I have to confess that for most things and people I don't give a damn.

--H. G. Wells


None

"This isn't a war," said the artilleryman. "It never was a war, any more than there's war between man and ants."

--H. G. Wells

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

I do not propose to add anything to what has already been written concerning the loss of the "Lady Vain."

--H. G. Wells

black textile in close up photography

In England we have come to rely upon a comfortable time-lag of fifty years or a century intervening between the perception that something ought to be done and a serious attempt to do it.

--H. G. Wells

green plants beside brown wooden door

One of the darkest evils of our world is surely the unteachable wildness of the Good.

--H. G. Wells

black fishes

Every time Europe looks across the Atlantic to see the American Eagle, it observes only the rear end of an ostrich.

--H. G. Wells

white and blue building under clear sky

There is no upper limit to what individuals are capable of doing with their minds. There is no age limit that bars them from beginning. There is no obstacle that cannot be overcome if they persist and believe.

--H. G. Wells

leafless tree on body of water during daytime

There is no remorse like a remorse of chess. It is a curse upon man. There is no happiness in chess.

--H. G. Wells


rainbow desert

Science has toiled too long forging weapons for fools to use. It is time she held her hand.

--H. G. Wells



landscape photography of road at savannah

I want to go ahead of Father Time with a scythe of my own.

--H. G. Wells


Oak Creek Sedona

If we don't end war, war will end us.

--H. G. Wells

man riding horse

History is a race between education and catastrophe.

--H. G. Wells

selective focus photography of woman taking selfie

Our challenge is not to educate the children we used to have or want to have, but to educate the children who come to the schoolhouse door.

--H. G. Wells

sunflower with sunglasses under blue sky during daytime

Strength is the outcome of need.

--H. G. Wells

Longer Version:

Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness.


fawn pug on bed

Everyone leaves the world a little better some by leaving.

--H. G. Wells

landscape photography of waves and clouds

How small the vastest of human catastrophes may seem, at a distance of a few million miles.

--H. G. Wells

yellow background

I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got.

--H. G. Wells

pink tree

For after the Battle comes quiet.

--H. G. Wells

close up photo of tree

It is not much good thinking of a thing unless you think it out.

--H. G. Wells



silhouette of stones during golden hour

It is the going out from oneself that is love and not the accident of its return. It is the expedition, whether it fail or succeed.

--H. G. Wells

shallow focus photography of red flower

Life falls into place only with God.

--H. G. Wells

green ceramic mug beside book

Leaders should lead as far as they can and then vanish. Their ashes should not choke the fire they have lit.

--H. G. Wells

blue sky and white clouds

The Social Contract is nothing more or less than a vast conspiracy of human beings to lie to and humbug themselves for the general Good. Lies are the mortar that bind the savage individual man into the social masonry.

--H. G. Wells


pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

To ride a bicycle properly is very like a love affair-chiefly it is a matter of faith. Believe you do it, and the thing is done; doubt, and, for the life of you, you cannot.

--H. G. Wells


brown wooden bridge beside green leafed trees during daytime

The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.

--H. G. Wells

time lapse photography of fire

The uglier a man's legs are, the better he plays golf. It's almost a law.

--H. G. Wells

sunset

Sailors ought never to go to church. They ought to go to hell, where it is much more comfortable.

--H. G. Wells

aerial photography of pine trees with mist

I am for world-control of production and of trade and transport, for a world coinage, and the confederation of mankind. I am for the super-State.

--H. G. Wells

None

After telephone, kinematograph and phonograph had replaced newspaper, book schoolmaster and letter, to live outside the range of the electric cables was to live an isolated savage.

--H. G. Wells


sunset

Chess is a curse upon a man.

--H. G. Wells

sunflower field during daytime

The passion for playing Chess is one of the most unaccountable in the world.

--H. G. Wells

Longer Version:

The passion for playing chess is one of the most unaccountable in the world. It slaps the theory of natural selection in the face. It is the most absorbing of occupations. The least satisfying of desires. A nameless excrescence upon life. It annihilates a man. You have, let us say, a promising politician, a rising artist that you wish to destroy. Dagger or bomb are archaic and unreliable -- but teach him, inoculate him with chess.


snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.

--H. G. Wells


crescent moon above mountain

There is, though I do not know how there is or why there is, a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven.

--H. G. Wells


purple and green light digital wallpaper

I perceived that I was hungry, and prepared to clamber out of the hammock which, very politely anticipating my intention, twisted round and deposited me upon the floor.

--H. G. Wells

silhouette of woman during sunset

In the scientific world I find just that disinterested devotion to great ends that I hope will spread at last through the entire range of human activity.

--H. G. Wells

grey cliff near body of water

Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture.

--H. G. Wells

purple and green light digital wallpaper

If after all my Atheology turns out wrong and your Theology right I feel I shall always be able to pass into Heaven (if I want to) as a friend of G.K.C.'s. Bless you.

--H. G. Wells


silhouette of grass under moonlight

We will peck them to death tomorrow, my dear.

--H. G. Wells


white flowers

When the history of civilization is written, it will be a biological history and Margaret Sanger will be its heroine.

--H. G. Wells

grayscale photography of pug

An animal may be ferocious and cunning enough, but it takes a real man to tell a lie.

--H. G. Wells

beach during daytime

The voice was indisputable. It continued to swear with that breadth and variety that distinguishes the swearing of a cultivated man.

--H. G. Wells

white and black bird

If anything is possible, then nothing is interesting.

--H. G. Wells

yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.

--H. G. Wells

snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men's lives should not pay with their own.

--H. G. Wells

woman in black and white jacket standing on brown sand during daytime

The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.

--H. G. Wells

aerial's photo of metropolitan during night time\

Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise.

--H. G. Wells

long exposure photography of beach

It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble.

--H. G. Wells

None

We have learned now that we cannot regard this planet as being fenced in and a secure abiding place for Man we can never anticipate the unseen good or evil that may come upon us suddenly out of space.

--H. G. Wells

Arizona landscape rocks

I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.

--H. G. Wells


blooming yellow sunflower field

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.

--H. G. Wells


man on running field

We were not making war against Germany, we were being ordered about in the King's war with Germany.

--H. G. Wells

old cowboy boots

'It is love and reason,' I said, 'fleeing from all this madness of war.'

--H. G. Wells

None

Human society is based on want. Life is based on want. Wild-eyed visionaries may dream of a world without need. Cloud-cuckoo-land. It can't be done.

--H. G. Wells

black bird flying on white background

Hinduism is synonymous with humanism. That is its essence and its great liberating quality.

--H. G. Wells

brown pine trees near mountain covered with fog

Our true nationality is mankind.

--H. G. Wells



photography of white wall lot

Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write!

--H. G. Wells

black pug puppy lying on gray bed

Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State's failure, all crime in the end is the crime of the community.

--H. G. Wells


yellow green leaf

There is space in its philosophy for everyone which is one reason why India is a home to every single religion in the world.

--H. G. Wells

purple textile in close up photography

All four Gospels agree in giving us a picture of a very definite personality. One is obliged to say, "Here was a man. This could not have been invented.

--H. G. Wells

man facing women near forest

Cycle trails will abound in Utopia.

--H. G. Wells

cluster of stars in the sky

Room to swing a cat, it seemed was absolutely essential. It was an infrequent but indispensable operation.

--H. G. Wells

milky way galaxy

The world needs something stronger than any possible rebellion against its peace. In other words it needs a federal world government embodying a new conception of human life as one whole.

--H. G. Wells

galaxy

I never yet heard of a useless thing that was not ground out of existence by evolution sooner or later. Did you? And pain gets needless.

--H. G. Wells


Light blue to dark blue gradient

There is no reason whatever to believe that the order of nature has any greater bias in favour of man than it had in favour of the ichthyosaur or the pterodactyl.

--H. G. Wells



photo of clear sky full of stars

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

--H. G. Wells

orange moon during nighttime

I saw a gray-haired man a figure of hale age, sitting at a desk and writing.

--H. G. Wells

silhouette of off-road car

In politics, strangely enough, the best way to play your cards is to lay them face upwards on the table.

--H. G. Wells

photography of yellow petaled flowers field

Heresies are experiments in man's unsatisfied search for truth.

--H. G. Wells


starry night over butte

States organized for war will make war as surely as hens will lay eggs.

--H. G. Wells

Texas buildings

The path of social advancement is, and must be, strewn with broken friendships.

--H. G. Wells

white wall paint beside white wall

There's nothing wrong in suffering, if you suffer for a purpose. Our revolution didn't abolish danger or death. It simply made danger and death worthwhile.

--H. G. Wells


blue and black abstract painting

The greatest task of democracy, its ritual and feast -- is choice.

--H. G. Wells

white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

No compulsion in the world is stronger than the urge to edit someone else's document.

--H. G. Wells


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