H. G. Wells on American journalists

Judging by the following letter, science fiction novelist H. G. Wells was not a fan of American journalists; in 1907 at least. Writing to a friend in May of that year, the author of The Time Machine and The War of The Worlds – to name but two of his classics – makes clear his disappointment with a member of the press following an interview that, upon publication, apparently contained “stupid remarks” about his physical appearance.

Transcript follows.




My Dear Sir.

I perceive my dread of American journalistic enterprise carried me beyond the limits of good manners. But you know, the American journalist’s little dodges do taint international intercourse to a surprising degree. It’s not pleasant to entertain a man who professes to be a publication’s representative and then to find at the outcome of his visit, stupid remarks about your hair & slippers scattered broadcast over a continent you instinctively respect. Is it?

Yours faithfully


Which reminds me. Will you come down to lunch at 1.30 on Friday?