September 2, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Snyder Edits Book on H.G. Wells’ Ann Veronica

Dr. Carey Snyder, Associate Professor of English, edited a book on H.G. Wells’ Ann Veronica (Petersburg, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2015).

Ann Veronica book coverH.G. Wells’s 1909 novel centers on the coming of age of the spirited Ann Veronica, who defies her father by fleeing their suburban home to live independently in London. There she mingles with feminists, studies biology, learns jiu jitsu, and even participates in a suffragette raid on the House of Commons, which lands her in jail. The novel was a success in part because of its transparently autobiographical dimension: the married celebrity author based the novel’s central romance on his affair with Amber Reeves, the daughter of two prominent Fabians. The National Social Purity Crusade pressured libraries not to circulate Ann Veronica, prompting Wells to regard himself as a “symbol against the authoritative, the dull, the presumptuously established, against all that is hateful and hostile to youth and tomorrow.” The novel absorbs readers as fully today as it did a hundred years ago: Ann Veronica’s engagement with socialists and suffragettes resonates with our own era’s renewed involvement in social and political protest movements like Occupy Wall Street.

Historical documents expand on the novel’s autobiographical dimension with letters between Wells and Amber Reeves; materials on the suffrage movement, attempts to censor the novel, and domesticity  also are included.

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