FIRST EDITION OF H.G. WELLS’ MARRIAGE, INSCRIBED BY WELLS TO HIS FRIEND AND SCIENTIFIC CONSULTANT SIR RICHARD GREGORY
WELLS, H.G. Marriage. London: Macmillan, 1912. Octavo, original green blind-stamped cloth, top edge gilt. $2250.
First edition of this novel, inscribed by Wells on the front free endpaper, "R.A.G. from H.G." Presented to and from the collection of Wells’ close friend and frequent scientific adviser, Sir Richard Arman Gregory.
"The marriage in question is that of Marjorie Pope to Richard Trafford, a scientific researcher who dramatically enters her life when his plane crashes on a vicarage lawn. Marjorie's expensive tastes force Trafford to give up pure research and work in industry. Wealthy but unfulfilled, the couple eventually retreat to a hut in Labrador where Trafford is injured by a lynx, but Marjorie nurses him back to health and the two resolve to embark on a new way of life serving human progress. For this big, serious novel Wells had taken [Henry] James' advice and switched to the third person to increase perspective… James told Wells that the story was interesting, but it was the story of Wells' ongoing life and thought that interested him rather than those of the characters" (Sherborne, 215-16). With eight pages of publisher's advertisements at rear. Hammond A8. Wells 46. Inscribed to noted British scientist and Wells' lifelong friend Sir Richard Arman Gregory. In Wells' first work of fiction, he dedicated the work to Gregory as his "dearest friend." The two met while students at the Normal School of Science in South Kensington. They jointly authored a textbook, Honours Physiography, in 1891. Reportedly, Gregory was the one person with whom Wells never quarreled. A professor of astronomy, Gregory also possessed expertise in physics, chemistry and other disciplines; he wrote several textbooks and eventually assumed the editorship of the journal Nature, to which Wells frequently contributed. The author often turned to Gregory, and to the experts Gregory contacted on Wells' behalf, for insight and encouragement when writing his famous "scientific romances." After Wells' death, Gregory worked to establish the H.G. Wells Memorial to preserve public attention to his friend's body of work. Throughout his life Gregory was a passionate advocate for science—"It is necessary to believe in the holiness of scientific work," he once declared—and "an optimist about man's future" (Horrabin, in New Scientist, April 11, 1957).
A clean, fresh, about-fine inscribed association copy.