H.G. Wells’ 1930s Radio Broadcasts

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) gave us The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds and practically invented science fiction as we know it. (Find his classic texts in our Free Audio Books and Free eBooks collections.) Now, thanks to the BBC, you can travel back in time and get a glimpse into Wells’ creative mind. During the 1930s and 1940s, Wells made regular radio broadcasts for the BBC, where he had the freedom to range widely, to talk about “world politics, the history of the printing press, the possibilities of technology and the shape of things to come…” Nine recordings now appear online. You can start listening here, or dip into an archive of Wells’ personal letters.

Finally, don’t miss one of my personal favorites. Orson Welles reading a dramatized version of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds in 1938. It’s perhaps the most famous radio broadcast in American history and it drove America into a bout of mass hysteria, at least for a night …

H/T to @fionaatzler for flagging these BBC audio recordings.

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