Herbert George Wells was born on the 21st of September 1866. His father was a shop owner and his mother worked as a house keeper for a nearby estate. In 1884 Wells joined the University of London, which at the time was named the Normal School of Science at South Kensington. He became a science teacher, after some illness he decided to become a writer. After writing several other novels including 'The Time Machine' and 'The Island of Dr. Moreau' he wrote 'The War of the Worlds'. It first appeared as a nine part series in Pearson's magazine in April 1897. He used the release to get ideas and critical opinions so that he could turn it into a novel. The final book (illustrated by Warwick Goble) was viewed as a work of brilliance. The first edition was released in February 1898.
To many people the story is a work of genius. Filled with vivid descriptions of the Martian invasion, from the destruction of London, to the evacuation of his brother out of the country. The story is told in the past tense as the recollections of a Surrey Journalist. The Martians are described in a such a believable way that one can almost believe that they really did invade. This is a must read for anyone, be you science fiction fan or not, it is simply one of the classical works of mankind.
The original novel can be downloaded from project Gutenberg here
The HG Wells society link
Read the excellent summary of HG Well's life at 'The War of the Worlds Invasion'