'The History of Mr Polly (1910) is a disturbing comic masterpiece . . . a more gently satirical and masculine counterpart to Flaubert's Madame Bovary . . . a classic of radical existentialism, and, after 100 years, still amusing, unsettling and powerfully contemporary '
Widely considered to be Wells's most perfectly-formed novel, this comic idyll is the story of a henpecked, unsuccessful, desperately frustrated small shopkeeper who bungles but survives a suicide-and-arson attempt, and becomes master of his fate under another identity
H.G. Wells is often cataloged as a pioneer of science fiction (which he was) . . . but he was also a great Edwardian writer of immense fame and influence who deserves to be remembered as a major literary figure
A delightful comedy of everyday Edwardian England that draws inspiration from its author's own life . . . The story - still strikingly modern - is a comedy about a midlife crisis . . . a comedy of ordinary, provincial life, rooted in the everyday, with countless brilliantly observed details . . . The History of Mr Polly has a special charm as a novel in which, for once, Wells became carefree and relaxed, and described the thing he could never find for himself - peace of mind