Neville Godwin’s Winning Artwork
This year celebrates 150 years since the birth of Wells. He made Woking famous or infamous with his great work War of the Worlds, siting the landing of the Martians on nearby Horsell Common.
The Borough Council and its partners have launched the “Wells in Woking” cultural event programme
One of the first such events is an art exhibition in the Lightbox Gallery inspired by War of the Worlds, which runs now until May 1st. I went today, and there are some extremely imaginative entries by well-known local artists. The winning artwork I publish with this article. If you are local, this exhibition is worth seeing
He came to Woking in 1895, after the end of his first marriage, with student Amy Catherine Robbins, otherwise known as ‘Jane’. They married in the October of that year and lived happily at 141 Maybury Road, although the house was called Lynton at the time.
Wells lived in Woking for less than 18 months and yet it was his most productive time as an author. He worked at a prodigious rate to establish himself as a writer, which he did, as by the time he left, he was in his own words “fairly launched at last”
He wrote the Time Machine fairly soon after his arrival, his first science fiction work. He planned and wrote War of the Worlds, and sited the action in and around Woking, a most unlikely place for an extra-terrestrial invasion.
He followed up with the Invisible Man, completed the Island of Dr.Moreau, wrote and published both The Wonderful Visit and a pioneering cycling novel called The Wheels of Chance. He began writing When the Sleeper Wakes, another science fiction story, and started on Love and Lewisham. He worked in his own words at “a ghastly pace” in order to make his fortune
Reportedly, his literary earnings in 1896 were £1056, or £118,000 in today’s money
Later that summer, the couple moved to Worcester Park, and the story leaves Woking. He went on to international acclaim, meeting statesmen like both Presidents Roosevelt, Lenin and Stalin.
Later, there are talks at the Lightbox and two guided walks by historian Iain Wakeford, culminating in an International Conference in July at the H.G.Wells Conference and Events Centre in Woking