Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 130,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

First and Last Things

Confession of Faith and Rule of Life

Cover image for


Author: H.G. Wells
Published: 1908
Language: English
Wordcount: 55,923 / 168 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 69
LoC Category: J
Downloads: 2,322 7334
Genres: Politics, Essays

It is as it stands now the frank confession of what one man of the early Twentieth Century has found in life and himself, a confession just as frank as the limitations of his character permit; it is his metaphysics, his religion, his moral standards, his uncertainties and the expedients with which he has met them. On every one of these departments and aspects I write--how shall I put it?--as an amateur. In every section of my subject there are men not only of far greater intellectual power and energy than I, but who have devoted their whole lives to the sustained analysis of this or that among the questions I discuss, and there is a literature so enormous in the aggregate that only a specialist scholar could hope to know it. I have not been unmindful of these professors and this literature; I have taken such opportunities as I have found, to test my propositions by them. But I feel that such apology as one makes for amateurishness in this field has a lesser quality of self-condemnation than if one were dealing with narrower, more defined and fact-laden matters. There is more excuse for one here than for the amateur maker of chemical theories, or the man who evolves a system of surgery in his leisure. These things, chemistry, surgery and so forth, we may take on the reputation of an expert, but our own fundamental beliefs, our rules of conduct, we must all make for ourselves. We may listen and read, but the views of others we cannot take on credit; we must rethink them and "make them our own." And we cannot do without fundamental beliefs, explicit or implicit. The bulk of men are obliged to be amateur philosophers,--all men indeed who are not specialized students of philosophical subjects,--even if their philosophical enterprise goes no further than prompt recognition of and submission to Authority.

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
Lyn Allpress

H G wells wrote this book as a collection of his own beliefs and fears, although I can't help but feel this book is more relevant today. I found it a joy to read.
H G Wells truly was a man out of his time.



Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

login | register

User ID


reset password

Author of the Day

Serenity Woods
Besides writing great romance novels, Serenity Woods enjoys juggling, archaeology and celebrating Christmas next to the pool. She lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her husband and teenage son and likes to write books about everyday people, with the issues that affect them. As our author of the day, Woods talks about her Christmas Boxset, Three Wise Men, why she is not a fan of alpha males and reveals what readers can expect from her pen next.
Read full interview...