The Wonderful Visit

The Wonderful Visit

By H. G. Wells

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This is the annotated edition including the rare biographical essay by Edwin E. Slosson called "H. G. Wells - A Major Prophet Of His Time". The Wonderful Visit was in astonishing contrast to The Time Machine. It is a gay and charming phantasy, interwoven with wit that never degenerates and pathos that is natural and instinctive And behind it all, showing its face occasionally at the back of the stage, is a serious purpose, a resolute definable conviction, a sincerity which is a far more potent charm than either wit or pathos. The central figure in The Wonderful Visit is an angel who slips from his natural sphere and alights on a small Surrey village. The Vicar, an ornithologist in small way, hearing of the arrival of this strange bird, goes out to "collect" it. He brings the angel down with a gunshot in the wing. The apologies of the Vicar and the mutual explanations are delicious. The angel is taken to the Vicar's house, dressed in the Vicar's new suit — his wings giving him the appearance of a hunchback— and installed at the vicarage. His presence causes some gossip; the curate's wife does not believe he is a man at all. His adventures in the village are told with an exquisite drollery which is irresistible. The village characters that cross the angelic path — from Lady Hammergallow and Crump, the doctor, down to the wayside tramp — are sketched with a humor, and a truth, that make English country life live before us. And the delightful portrait of the Vicar himself, not quite fossilized in his beliefs, suddenly awakened out of his own dull world by this angel's visit to dream of better and more beautiful things, is one that would have rejoiced Russell Lowell's heart.

H. G. Wells