Friday, July 23, 2010

HG Wells in Newport

Here's sci-fi author HG Wells pictured with Viscount Tredegar at Tredegar House in Newport in 1935. Wells is on the right. Viscount Tredegar was notorious for throwing lavish weekend house parties attended by the likes of Aleister Crowley, Aldous Huxley, Nancy Cunard, and Augustus John, as well as HG Wells. He was also renowned for keeping a menagerie of exotic creatures at his Welsh stately home. These included a boxing Kangaroo called Somerset, a bear called Alice, and an anteater whose name escapes me. Looking through newspapers of the period Viscount Tredegar's chief occupation seems to have been opening fetes and attending garden parties, usually with his pet macaw (Blue Boy) perched on one shoulder.

Incidentally, HG Wells, before he became a famous author, worked as a teacher at the Holt Academy near Wrexham. Unfortunately he had to resign the position after getting kicked in the kidneys during a school football match. True story.