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Herbert George Wells

Before his success as a prolific science fiction writer. H.G. taught a young Alan Milne English and Science at Henley House School between 1889 – 1890 before venturing off to find more time to focus on his writing career. Milne found himself studying Mathamatics at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he joined the College magazine ‘Granta’ as a writer and editor and reached out to H.G. Wells for an interview.

HG Wells School Photo

At 34 years of age, 5 years before his first novel, The Time Machine and 8 years before the now iconic War of the Worlds, H.G.Wells was a English and Science Master at Henley House School and taught a young Alan Milne when he was just six years old. A short chapter is dedicated to Henley House School in his autobiography, ‘An experiment in autobiography’ where he comments “This Henley House School was, financially, a not very successful private school in Kilburn. It was housed in a brace of semi-detached villas, very roughly adapted to its educational needs. It drew its boys from the region of Maida Vale and St. John’s Wood; the parents were theatrical, artistic, professional and business people who from motives of economy or affection preferred to have their sons living at home.

There were only a few boarders. It was a privately owned school and J. V. Milne, the proprietor, was responsible to no earthly authority for what he did or did not teach. In one of the houses he lived with his family” This is the only photo of Alan Alexander Milne age 8 – Pupil (3rd row 5th from left) and Herbert George Wells – Teacher age 34 (2nd row 6th from left) taken at Henley School in 1890.  Also, within this photo is John Vine Milne, Headmaster of Henley House School, also the Father of A.A Milne, age 45 (2nd row 8th from left) and Kenneth John Milne age 9 – Pupil also the second oldest brother of A. A Milne (3rd row 10th from left).

Kilburn A.A.Milne

Fond of his time with the Milne family at Henley House School, this request was warmly welcomed and an adult friendship commenced which ultimately led Wells to help steer Milnes career by suggesting a set of short poems he had written could be better as the basis for a book, which ultimately became Milnes first novel ‘Lovers in London’ (1905). H.G Wells is most famous for novels such as The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible man (1897) and The War of the Worlds which is just one of a handful of books that have been in continuous print since its first publication in 1898.