Nearing 70, and in what would be the last decade of his life, H.G. Wells fell in love at least three times - once with the much younger Baroness Budberg, and soon thereafter with two well-born Americans, Constance Coolidge and Martha Gelhorn, 25 and 40 years his junior respectively. These would constitute what Wells himself described as his "last flounderings towards the wife idea", and demonstrate in many ways that Wells was driven less by his considerable intelligence than by his obsession to find his ideal lover - what he called his "lover-shadow". This study looks at this very personal side of H.G. Wells. The self-proclaimed Don Juan was said to have "radiated" energy: intellectual, emotional, physical and sexual. Drawing on papers made public by the Wells estate, the author documents Wells' relationship with each of these femme fatales and paints a vivid portrait of the early part of the 20th century in London, Paris and the US.
1. Secret Places of the heart: HG in Love and in His Postscript, 2 The Anatomy of 'Frustration: HG's Birth and Rebirths, 3 The Undying 'Fire: HG and Moura Budberg, 1920, 1932-1946, 4 Star Forgotten: HG and Constance Coolidge, 1935-1937, 5 The passionate 'Friends: HG and Martha Gellhorn, 1935, 6 Epilogue: Beyond the Shadow of Love