H.G. Wells - a figure on the World stage

Wells’ fame as a writer, a journalist, propagandist and public intellectual gave him access to a wide range of political figures and celebrities.

As a writer highly-regarded in the literary world, his literary contacts included: J.M. Barrie, Joseph Conrad, Stephen Crane, Ford Madox Ford, George Gissing and George Bernard Shaw.

Wells used his fame and notoriety to secure interviews with the world's political leaders by way of interpreting their views for a global audience and seeking a basis for peaceful world order. Having met President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Vladimir Lenin in 1920, he subsequently interviewed both President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin

Naturally, Wells mixed with many British politicians. In 1937 he dedicated the novel Star-Begotten to ‘my friend’, Winston Churchill, who first made contact with Wells after the publication of Anticipations in 1901.

Among the celebrities well-known to Wells was Charlie Chaplin. Wells stayed with Chaplin and his wife, Paulette Goddard, when visiting Hollywood in 1935. And, during his visit Cecil B. de Mille, the film producer, hosted a party in his honour. Wells was also invited to stay with William Randolph Hearst, the media entrepreneur, in his grand and elaborate  castle which features 165 rooms and 127 acres, and is situated on a rocky perch (named by Hearst) ‘La Cuesta Encantada’ – ‘The Enchanted Hill’.