A witty satire of Edwardian mores - think Evelyn Waugh with a touch of slapstick.
Orphaned at an early age, raised by his aunt and uncle, and apprenticed for seven years to a draper, Artie Kipps is stunned to discover upon reading a newspaper advertisement that he is the grandson of a wealthy gentleman and the inheritor of his fortune. Thrown dramatically into the upper classes, he struggles desperately to learn the etiquette and rules of polite society. But as he soon discovers, becoming a 'true gentleman' is neither as easy nor as desirable as it at first appears...
You can enjoy the novel as a jolly yarn about faux pas - there's a bit of Kipps in most of us - but you also sense that Wells found its theme a little close to the bone . . . As social inequality threatens to rise, it's hard not to wonder - despite the happy ending - if Kipps belongs to Britain's future as well as its past - GUARDIAN
A Dickensian comedy about one ordinary man's struggle for self-improvement - GUARDIAN
The novel combines rich comedy and biting social criticism with Dickensian verve - GUARDIAN
H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. After working as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in 1884, studying under T. H. Huxley. He was awarded a first-class honours degree in biology and resumed teaching but had to retire after a kick from an ill-natured pupil afflicted his kidneys. He worked in poverty in London as a crammer while experimenting in journalism and stories. It was with THE TIME MACHINE (1895) that he had his real breakthrough.