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

The History of Mr Polly

Cover image for


Author: H.G. Wells
Published: 1910
Language: English
Wordcount: 69,055 / 206 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.7
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 4,883 7338

Mr Polly is an ordinary middle-aged man who is tired of his wife’s nagging and his dreary job as the owner of a regional gentleman’s outfitters. Faced with the threat of bankruptcy, he concludes that the only way to escape his frustrating existence is by burning his shop to the ground, and killing himself. Unexpected events, however, conspire at the last moment to lead the bewildered Mr Polly to a bright new future – after he saves a life, fakes his death, and escapes to a life of heroism, hope and ultimate happiness.

Show Excerpt

ided they were also adventurous. He got these chiefly from the local institute, and he also "took in," irregularly but thoroughly, one of those inspiring weeklies that dull people used to call "penny dreadfuls," admirable weeklies crammed with imagination that the cheap boys' "comics" of to-day have replaced. At fourteen, when he emerged from the valley of the shadow of education, there survived something, indeed it survived still, obscured and thwarted, at five and thirty, that pointed--not with a visible and prevailing finger like the finger of that beautiful woman in the picture, but pointed nevertheless--to the idea that there was interest and happiness in the world. Deep in the being of Mr. Polly, deep in that darkness, like a creature which has been beaten about the head and left for dead but still lives, crawled a persuasion that over and above the things that are jolly and "bits of all right," there was beauty, there was delight, that somewhere--magically inaccessible perhaps, but still somewhere, wer

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.7 from 3 reviews: ****
Alice McVeigh

A truly terrible book, just finished it for my book club. A few decent characters, if two-dimensional and Dickensian, a few well-turned lines, amid reams of dull, crashingly boring fiction. Apparently he wrote 100 books: I think there should have been 99.

A. Ahmed

Also a prescribed book for me. I read this when I was about 14 years old. Ever
since I have wanted to read it again. Can't for th life of me remember the plot, but can't wait to read it again. Just remember that I really enjoyed it. It must have left an impression. I am now 42.

Wilfred Wilms

This was a prescribed book when I was at school a thousand years ago and I still consider it one of the best I have ever read. (I'm 61, so I have read many)

Polly's rut that he's in and how he gets out of it makes for a "feel-good" story, second to none.



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

Maria La Serra
Maria La Serra believes in love and serendipity. She also believes in creating novels that are a bit different from the regular, run-of-the-mill books that readers have become accustomed to. As our author of the day, La Serra chats with us about her debut work, The Proverbial Mr. Universe, fashion design and serendipity.
Read full interview...