A Letter from H. G. Wells to M. P. Shiel



††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† May 20, 1937

My dear Shiel,

††††††††††† Iíve got your manuscript [Jesus] and letter and I began to read the first chapter of the former.I found it very interesting and then gave way to fatigue.The fact is at present I am scarcely existent mentally, Iíve got acute neuritis and I find it almost impossible to keep my attention steady on anything for more than five to ten minutes.Everybody says this will pass off presently but meanwhile I just cannot tackle the problems your book raises.My impression is that youíve got something very important to say and that you have massed your evidence upon it instead of using supplements and notes to make it very difficult reading for the ordinary man of intelligence.What shall I do about it?I know someone who might show it to the Cresset Press and beyond that I cannot think of anything to further your desire for publication.What shall I do with the manuscript?

††††††††††† Forgive this rambling letter.Iíve always regarded you as an outstanding worthwhile writer.

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Yours ever,


††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† [signed, H. G. Wells]



[The Correspondence of H. G. Wells, ed by David C. Smith,

(London: Pickering & Chatto, 1998), Vol IV, #2275, p 152.]


Note: H. G. Wells (1866-1946) was 71 when he wrote this letter.



Return to M.P. Shiel at Selected Authors of Supernatural Fiction