The Shape of Things to Come

WELLS, H. G. The Shape of Things to Come.

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WELLS, H. G. The Shape of Things to Come. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1933.

Large 8vo., original navy publisher's cloth, embossed with title and author to upper cover; spine lettered in gilt; complete in the original unclipped printed dust jacket (8/6 net); pp. [vi], vii-ix, [iii], 13-431, [i], [twelve, ads.]; head and foot a touch pushed, edges and endpapers with a few light spots; contemporary ownership name in ink to ffep; else a lovely bright copy, in the wrapper which is extraordinarily unfaded to the spine; with some light creases, nicks and chips, one or two small closed tears, and a small patch of rubbing to the rear flap, with minor loss of one letter; else exceptionally bright.
First edition, incredibly rare in the bright blue, unrestored wrapper, which is often prone to fading. Complete with the publisher's Autumn 1933 catalogue to rear.
Wells' 'great dream of the future' is a work of science fiction which takes in the scope of human progress, and ends with his predictions for the planet in 2106. It involves a prolonged economic slump, leading to war, famine and disease, where the countries with the largest and strongest air forces construct a dictatorship enforcing the English language and abolishing religion. Wells' Second World War breaks out in January 1940, although it diverges from the actual war when Poland proves a military match for Germany, and the UK remains a neutral party. The subsequent battle lasts ten years, and leads to the near-destruction of humanity. Since publication, a number of his predictions have in fact come to pass, such as the development of WMDs, and the large-scale bombing of whole cities.
Published just two years after Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, many have been quick to compare the two, and in fact Wells' himself proclaimed Huxley, "one of the most brilliant of the reactionary writers."

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