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Ann Veronica

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  689 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
Stong-willed, reckless and fiercely independent, Ann Veronica Stanley is determined to be a 'Person', to work, love and, above all, to live. Walking away from her stifling father and the social conventions of her time, she leaves drab suburbia for Edwardian London and encounters an unknown world of suffragettes, Fabians and free love. But it is only when she meets the char ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Orion (first published 1909)
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Apr 20, 2017 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A proto feminist novel written in 1909 by renowned male Edwardian Sci-Fi novelist H G Wells..? Who would have thought it?

Well – the prolific and hugely accomplished and influential Mr Well wrote in excess of 100 novels encompassing a wide range of literary genres.

This is a really good and comparatively revolutionary, modern novel – which at the time of publication was considered shocking and scandalous (questions and eyebrows were resolutely raised in the press and in the pulpit alike) exploring
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

From BBC Radio 4 - Drama:
Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells 1/2
Dramatised by Ellen Dryden
Spirited and fiercely intelligent, Ann Veronica is a 21st Century woman in an Edwardian Hobble skirt. She runs away from her stiflingly conventional home and her domineering father to make a fresh start in London. A lively and surprising story; not least because it's created by H.G. Wells.

Produced and directed by Pauline Harris

Further information
N.B. EPISODE 2 is dramatiz
So H. G. Wells writes science fiction, right? Right? WRONG!!!

From the man who penned such stories as The Time Machine, and The War of the Worlds comes Ann Veronica, a story of feminism, drama, and romance. And no element of science fiction in this book, no Sir. Sure, Vee (can I call her Vee? Everyone calls her Vee.) has a scientific temper, but that's all the science there is to this fiction. And you know what? I quite liked it. Not Time Machine liked it, but liked it all the same. Vee is a stro
Ann Veronica is the youngest of five children and the only one left at home. Finding a life of "calls, tennis, selected novels, walks and dusting" to be stifling, she has persuaded her father to let her attend college, although only the Tredgold Women's College, not the more prestigious "mixed" college that she wants to attend. In time the limited intellectual stimulation provided by Tredgold's "store of faded learning" isn't enough for her and she begins to want more out of her life. Having had ...more
May 16, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ANN VERONICA. (1909). H. G. Wells. ****.
Both Wells and his good friend G. B. Shaw attempted to address social issues through their writings – Wells through his novels and essays, Shaw through his plays and prefaces. Both were effective in their efforts, and both had a profound effect of the shape of literature to come. Even in his ‘science fiction’ works, Wells managed to sneak in his views on the state of our society. In this novel, he addresses the social and political status of women in turn
Apr 07, 2016 Wanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ibooks, audiobooks, bbc, 2017
8 APR 2016 - available at Project Gutenberg -

26 FEB 2017 - available at BBC Radio 4 - Episode 1 -

26 FEB 2017 - I am listening to this. I absolutely adore Ann Veronica and her quest. Despite listening, I have already downloaded an eBooks version and will be reading Ann Veronica's journey into her own definition of "freedom."

26 FEB 2017 - Mr Stanley to Ann Veronica - “Cooped up!" he cried. "Did I stand in the way of your
James Foster
Nov 07, 2016 James Foster rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Major social changes often seem to have been just “in the air,” rather than launched by any single person or action. Even when there is a figurehead, as in Ghandi’s India or Lincoln’s America, the “leader” was actually riding a tsunami of changing opinion whose impulsive force proceeded from a critical mass of individuals who chose to live different lives than their parents did. History is biography writ small.

Ann Veronica is the tale of one of those individuals, surfing the initial tide of cha
Apr 06, 2015 Noe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hg-wells
H. G. Wells - that name makes most of us think of science fiction, so when I came across a love story by him, I had to read it. Not because I’m a big Wells fan, though. I have read the Time Machine and War of the Worlds and didn’t like either one. The movies based on those two stories are much better, but still the idea of a science fiction guy writing romance was intriguing.

To be sure, he has a real knack for writing sweet words. I would say some of his expressions are downright beautiful. Howe
Mary Ronan Drew
Ann Veronica caused quite a stir when it was published in 1909. The story is about a “New Woman,” an independent girl who yearns to study science, leave her stultifying home and live alone in an apartment, vote, and take her place in the world beside men.

The heroine manages to achieve independence despite dangers from suitors who would crush her spirit as thoroughly as her father has tried to do, and a seemingly friendly man who wants to seduce her. She finally falls in love with a married man a
May 30, 2016 Rasma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
Maybe everyone else knows that H.G. Wells wrote non-science fiction romantic novels of biting social criticism from a feminist point of view, but I didn't. I recommend this book, despite its perhaps all too self-congratulatory conclusion. It captures the turn of the century England, exposing the inability of Victorian mores in a modernist, Darwinian dawn, and removes one by one the stays that constrict instead of uphold society. He tries to show that all dogma limits the human spirit, and even t ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Being one of the "New Woman" novels, I didn't know quite what to expect. This is the best, most realistic one I've read thus far. Vee's spunk is admirable and Wells took on the subject with a decent blend of traditional and non-traditional behavior. The ending was very appropriate for me at this time in my life. It wasn't edgy and yet it wasn't sentimental.
I would read this one again.
Oct 08, 2013 Ilona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Two sides of H.G. Wells

Getting to know that Herbert Wells wrote not only fantastic novels appeared to be a great surprise for me. His Time Machine and War of the Worlds were quite familiar to me, but somehow I've never heard about his social novels. Preparing for my university English literature class I decided to read one of them and a good decision it was.

Herbert Wells himself claimed that his science fiction was just a stage in his literary career which enabled him to move further to the no

Eloise Mcallister
It started off really interesting but I felt like Ann Veronica suppressed her desire for independence in the end simply because she found the man she loved loved her too. Beautiful chains are still chains! I'm very irritated by this. I wish it had ended 100 pages earlier.
Mar 16, 2013 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
H.G. Wells is widely known for his speculative science fiction work, but he also published across a variety of topics, both fiction and nonfiction. I struggled through his expository style in his first novel, The Time Machine (1895). Instead of showing the reader, he told the reader, in long, drawn-out sequences. I liked the ideas he was exploring, but I didn't enjoy the execution.

By 1909, Wells absolutely excelled at storytelling while still keeping a penetrating eye on the larger issues of th
Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells
This book took me back to my adolescence. In the 1950s and 60s a good number of the attitudes in this book still held sway if you were a middle-class girl whose parents had moved up from the working-class into suburban middle class. This meant that you would have had a reasonable education which could fit you for professional life, but at the same time would be hemmed around by concerns about spoiling your reputation, appearing unfeminine and claiming an independence t
Cole Schoolland
Apr 12, 2014 Cole Schoolland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fun find. Incredible that one of the fathers of Science Fiction was also a pretty progressive radical. Though, I suppose that is the nature of most SciFi authors.

Ann Veronica is the story of the New Woman (new, that is to the Victorian era) who struggles to find her freedom and equality (feminism) while at the same time coming to terms with her own identity (femininity). The constraints of her family, pedigree, class, and sex are all under question as our heroine struggles to di
Jul 10, 2012 Lewis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone looking for a Positive Role Model is likely to be disappointed by Ann Veronica. If the novel had been written as a polemic, the heroine would have been level-headed, liberal and wholly consistent. But she is a human. She rails against the lot of women, but she is really more interested in her own personal happiness rather than that of women in general. Some may dislike the way that in the end she gets over her youthful rebellion and becomes a dutiful wife who enjoys being told what to do; ...more
Mar 11, 2014 Kelli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooked
It was very interesting to read what would have been scandalous 100 years ago. Even today I found myself thinking, Whoa! Did she just do that? Ann Veronica is very brave, very determined, and a bit selfish, but I guess like father like daughter on that one. I think this was a fun experiment, and Ann and friends do reflect a lot on women's place in the world, gender equality, and science. It reminded me of Aldous Huxley's The Island with all the philosophizing. I guess I was a bit disappointed be ...more
Feb 27, 2011 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good. I think authors today might do similar things without being so explicit that that's what they are doing (I imagined Carol Shields or someone writing this book today), but even with the ideology made so plain, Wells does a pretty good job of making real characters and a real story. And I loved what he had to say about projection.
Sep 27, 2012 ELK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What began as a thoughtful girl's exploration of her identity as a young woman in Suffrage-era Britain ended with her conceding to a typical domestic life. Ignoring the disappointing outcome, it's still a strong meditation on the pointlessness of keeping within the bounds of mindless convention.
One must remember the full title - Ann Veronica: A Modern Love Story. Considering it was published in 1909 it is indeed a progressive, unconventional love story. I'm not sure if I like it or not but it was interesting to read though. Ann Veronica's constant tears when confronted made me wonder if this is a progressive feminist book or a satire about feminists for a long time. I'm not entirely sure even now but I'm coming down on the side of feminism. Everyone else seems to be disappointed in the ...more
Mar 16, 2017 Cathi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't that I didn't like it. It was just too much hard work to get through it. I got through less than half before I gave up. I admit that Mr. Wells was brilliant. I am not. I didn't understand a lot of the words and the style of writing from back then is just too much work. Reading shouldn't be hard work.
Mary Davidsaver
I listened to an audio dramatization with Bill Nighy. It made points with the suffrage movement. I liked the happy-ever-after ending well enough. But ultimately Wells, in this day and age, was too predictable.
Chris Fellows
I read this book because I came across a mention of it in a biography of Shaw, to the effect that it was semi-autobiographical and scandalous. It was not at all scandalous until the last three or four chapters. Up until then, it may be read as a conventional moral fable about the folly of going against the wisdom of your elders. The world beyond Edwardian suburbia does have limited opportunities for young single women; it is filled with dangers of which Ann Veronica is unaware. While the forces ...more
Oct 21, 2013 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alyssa Nelson
I had serious doubts about this book when I first started it, not only is it not science fiction, but a ROMANCE, from HG Wells? Yeah, okay. I was thinking it was going to be ridiculous, but once I started reading it, I realized it was completely different from what I had first thought — it’s an early book about feminism. And you know what? It’s done rather splendidly.

Ann Veronica is the youngest of a fairly well-to-do family. She’s not your typical turn-of-the-20th-century girl — she studies bio
Isca Silurum
Enjoyable and rather surprising to have been written by the author. Taking into account when written and by a man sees to show an eye for the future and empathy.
Andrew McBurnie
I'd only read HG Wells' science-fiction, which all reek of their era, so this book was a surprise because it was published in 1909 but feels modern: the suffragettes, socialists and other trendy radicals that the heroine Anne Veronica gets involved with seem straight out of the late sixties/early seventies. Wells describes the confusion of Fabian meetings and the “inexplicable enthusiasm” of the suffrage movement, with its “incoherent cries for unsoundly formulated ends”. The trendy revolutionar ...more
Wells hasn't written many books with a female protagonist and while I didn't agree with everything that he wrote in this one, it was nice to see him attempt to look at the ideas of feminism, and the suffragettes. It was also interesting to see it interwoven with his own semi-autobiographical novels but from the other point of view. Ann Veronica was a young woman, 21, living at home and dominated by her father at the beginning of the 20th century. She was wanting to go and study biology at Imperi ...more
Susannah Bell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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In 1866, (Herbert George) H.G. Wells was born to a working class family in Kent, England. Young Wells received a spotty education, interrupted by several illnesses and family difficulties, and became a draper's apprentice as a teenager. The headmaster of Midhurst Grammar School, where he had spent a year, arranged for him to return as an "usher," or student teacher. Wells earned a government schol ...more
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“The art of ignoring is one of the accomplishments of every well-bred girl, so carefully instilled that at last she can even ignore her own thoughts and her own knowledge.” 16 likes
“She wanted to live. She was vehemently impatient—she did not clearly know for what—to do, to be, to experience. And experience was slow in coming. All the world about her seemed to be—how can one put it?—in wrappers, like a house when people leave it in the summer. The blinds were all drawn, the sunlight kept out, one could not tell what colors these gray swathings hid. She wanted to know. And there was no intimation whatever that the blinds would ever go up or the windows or doors be opened, or the chandeliers, that seemed to promise such a blaze of fire, unveiled and furnished and lit. Dim souls flitted about her, not only speaking but it would seem even thinking in undertones.... During” 1 likes
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