H.G.(Herbert George) Wells (1866-1946), born of lower middle class parents, was largely self-educated. A government scholarship allowed him to attended the Royal College of Science where he studied with Thomas Henry Huxley.
Although he wrote a number of different types of fiction as well as non-fiction, he is best remembered for his science fiction. His firm grounding in science shows forth in this genre.
In 1938, Orson Welles, broadcast a dramatization on radio of H. G. Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds", which was so believable that people fled their homes to avoid the Martian invasion.
A shipwreck in the South Seas, a palm-tree paradise where a mad doctor conducts vile experiments, animals that become human and then "beastly" in ways they never were before--it's the stuff of high adventure. It's also a parable about Darwinian theory, a social satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and a bloody tale of horror. Or, as H. G. Wells himself wrote about this story, "The Island of Dr. Moreau is an exercise in youthful blasphemy. Now and then, though I rarely admit it, the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace. It grimaced that time, and I did my best to express my vision of the aimless torture in creation." This colorful tale by the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds lit a firestorm of controversy at the time of its publication in 1896.