One dark and stormy night, a stranger arrives in West Sussex at a village inn. He is heavily clad in an overcoat and his face is wrapped in bandages. He takes a room at the inn, but refuses to socialize with anyone. He stays cooped up in his room all day and night, working with strange chemicals and apparatus. Suddenly, strange events begin to happen in the village. Mysterious burglaries and fires break out, culminating in a destructive rampage across the peaceful countryside. The stranger is the keeper of a terrible secret... _The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance_ (to give the book its full title) by HG Wells was published in 1897. Written in novella form, this bizarre science fiction tale was first published in Pearson's Weekly as a serial and later compiled into a single book. Based on scientific theories of optics and physics, this story instantly caught the imagination of readers and has been regularly adapted to film, television and radio since it first made its appearance more than a hundred years ago. Herbert George Wells' writing career owes itself to an accident suffered in childhood. As an eight year old boy, he was once confined to bed with a broken leg. His father, a professional cricketer and failed businessman, regularly brought him books from the local library so that he could pass the time. His father's financial troubles compelled his mother to go to work as a lady's maid in a local mansion, while the children were put to work as apprentices with various local tradesmen. For Wells, this was one of the most unhappy, yet also the most profitable times in his life. The mansion where his mother worked had an enormous library where the child continued to read and educate himself. At eighteen, he went to work as a teacher in a residential school. His career flourished after that, and he won a scholarship to work under the great biologist, Thomas Huxley in London. He began writing science fiction stories in 1895 with the publication of _The Time Machine_, where he proposed the concept of selective time travel. Several other extremely popular Sci-Fi novels and short stories followed, interspersed with romantic stories, novels, ghost stories, film scripts, articles, satirical novels, historical and political treatises and non-fiction papers. Wells was an extremely prolific writer and continues to inspire generations of writers even today. The Invisible Man is a book that evokes great interest among readers of all ages and is an important landmark in the history of Sci-Fi writing.
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