HG Wells on the Future | BBC broadcasts from the father of science fiction

Whither Britain? | Taking Stock

HG Wells challenges the idea of 'Britain for the British'.

CHANNEL | National Programme

FIRST BROADCAST | 09 January 1934

DURATION | 8 minutes 39 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1934

Synopsis

HG Wells rejects patriotism and nationalism in this intentionally provocative talk, speaking of his great desire for a future 'world unity' where barriers between countries are dissolved. While acknowledging his own great pride in being an Englishman, Wells decries both the increasing nationalism that is plaguing the world and the march towards war, a catastrophe that many believe is now inevitable, while still hoping for peace and co-operation if the courage and imagination can be found. Next, he turns his attention to the topic of aviation, looking forward to a time when 'this great gift of invention, flying' might be available to all for the purposes of international travel.

Due to the age of this recording, the sound quality is variable.

Did you know?

The concern that Wells expressed over nationalism was inspired by the rise of Germany's National Socialist Party - aka the Nazi Party - which had assumed power the previous spring under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.

Contributors

Contributor

Related External Links

More like this...

HG Wells.

Russia in the Melting Pot

BROADCAST 1931
3 MINUTES

HG Wells on the failings of Stalin's economic 'Five Year Plan'.

HG Wells.

Modern Conditions | HG Wells

BROADCAST 1932
1 MINUTE

Our economic and political lives are 'out of gear'.

HG Wells.

Communications 1922-1932 | HG Wells

BROADCAST 1932
3 MINUTES

How the motor car serves as a warning to us all.

HG Wells.

Whither Britain? | Taking Stock

BROADCAST 1934
9 MINUTES

HG Wells challenges the idea of 'Britain for the British'.

HG Wells.

As I See It | HG Wells

BROADCAST 1937
13 MINUTES

A talk on the worldwide community of English speakers.

HG Wells.

The Future of Europe | HG Wells Presents Dr Edvard Benes

BROADCAST 1939
33 MINUTES

HG Wells welcomes the former president of Czechoslovakia.

HG Wells.

The World Goes By | HG Wells on the 500th Anniversary of Printing

BROADCAST 1940
7 MINUTES

How the printed word has reached the world's entire population.

HG Wells.

Reshaping Man's Heritage | HG Wells

BROADCAST 1943
12 MINUTES

HG Wells declares that it's time to 'face up to your inheritance'.

HG Wells.

HG Wells | Science and the Citizen

BROADCAST 1943
10 MINUTES

The newspaper is 'dead as mutton', says HG Wells.

Documents

Letter to HG Wells from the BBC.

Letter to HG Wells from the BBC

WRITTEN 1929
1 Page

An invitation to HG Wells to go on air for the first time.

Letter to HG Wells thanking him for his promise to broadcast on the BBC.

Letter to HG Wells thanking him for his promise to broadcast

WRITTEN 1929
2 Pages

HG Wells agrees to speak about world peace.

A note by HG Wells on his 'World peace' broadcast of 1929.

HG Wells on his 'World peace' broadcast of 1929

WRITTEN 1929
2 Pages

Wells reassures the BBC that his broadcast will be objective.

Memo from Hilda Matheson to John Reith regarding HG Wells broadcast.

Memo from Hilda Matheson to John Reith regarding HG Wells broadcast

WRITTEN 1929
1 Page

Will HG Wells's broadcast require 'toning down'?

Letter from Hilda Matheson to Dame Rachel Crowdy.

Letter from Hilda Matheson to Dame Rachel Crowdy

WRITTEN 1929
1 Page

Preparations for a broadcast by HG Wells.

Memo concerning HG Wells's Russian Talk.

Memo concerning HG Wells's Russian Talk

WRITTEN 1931
1 Page

Concerns that Wells has not submitted a manuscript go right to the top.

Memo about interview with HG Wells prior to Russian broadcast.

Record of Interview with HG Wells prior to Russian broadcast

WRITTEN 1931
1 Page

Wells makes a commitment to objectivity.

A letter from HG Wells to the BBC.

Letter from HG Wells to the BBC

WRITTEN 1942
1 Page

Wells responds to an invitation to speak about evolution.

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.