Item No: #363404 The New Machiavelli. H. G. Wells.
The New Machiavelli
The New Machiavelli
The New Machiavelli
The New Machiavelli
The New Machiavelli

Signed by Wells, with Short MSS

The New Machiavelli

Notes: A controversial novel at the time, about the affair of an author-politician who recants socialism and has an affair with a graduate student. The book was obviously based on Wells and his affair with the women's rights activist Amber Reeves. The novel also pokes fun at Beatrice and Sidney Webb, two prominent socialists, whose characters are thinly disguised and everyone in intellectual Britain knew who he meant.

The novel was serialized in the literary magazine, The English Review, but initially no British publisher would touch it. As a result, the first edition is the American version, which came out in 1910. According to Wells' biographer Michael Sherborne, the sales of this book doubled that of any previous Wells novel. Wells told a friend around this time, "My personal unpopularity is immense but amusing & people listen with blanched faces to the tale of my vices & go & buy my books." (Quoted in H. G. Wells: Another Kind of Life, p. 211).

Edition information from The Eric Korn Collection of H. G. Wells by M. E. Korn (typescript produced by Serendipity Books).

Edition + Condition: First edition, second issue (MCMXI on title page; all page edges trimmed; first quote on title page correctly attributed to G. H. Lewis; rear ads [10], [4], [16] pages). A very good copy in salmon-pink cloth, with the spine faded, as usual. This copy has Wells's typical, generic inscription on the front free endpaper, "With kind regards fr. H. G. Wells." In addition, there is a sheet with draft telegrams in Wells's hand to his American publisher seeking to delay the American publication of the book because Heinemann had agreed to bring out a British version in the spring (of 1911). In the end, Heinemann decided not to publish the book and the American publisher went ahead with its version.

This copy probably belonged to a reviewer as it has a penciled list of page numbers and notes on the rear pastedown. There are also narrow bands of tape residue on the front free endpaper and the telegram draft.

Publication: London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1911.

Item No: #363404

Price: $1,250