The New Machiavelli

The New Machiavelli

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". "Love and fine thinking"?that is the phrase which Mr. Wells's modern statesman strikes out as expressing his final synthesis. In the super-subtle mood induced by reading Mr. Wells the words may be stretched to cover his own work. No more cunning, analytical brain existed in England. Fine thinking is without question one of his major passions. And he is persistently yet restlessly erotic. It is a curious combination of qualities that is more or less evidenced in nearly all of his books. In The New Machiavelli the two motives are the warp and the woof of the texture. The cleverness of the idea cries out for admiration. A young English statesman, spokesman for the dominant political ideas of the near future, is disgraced and exiled on the threshold of his real career because, being married, he had learned to love. Still in young manhood, smarting under the sting of defeat, even while he knows all that he has gained in the fulfillment of his desire, he sits down to write the story of his evolution from a crudely thinking politician to a statesman. The subtle Italian courtier is his model. But two vast differences in the stateman's problem have come about in four centuries. The first: "The old sort of Prince, the old little principality has vanished from the world." And the second is not less momentous: "We are discovering women. It is as if they had come across a vast interval since his time, into the very chamber of the statesman." So, while Mr. Wells builds up in the brain of Richard Remington his new vision of statecraft, he unfolds also the life of a modern man to whom human passion is, after all, the one great thing. There have been political novels enough, but few in which the balance has been so well maintained.

H. G. Wells