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H.G. Wells author of The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells author of The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll by H.G. Wells

The First Bicycle Touring Author

H.G. Wells wasn’t just a visionary when it came to time machines or men walking on the moon, he also wrote the very first book about bicycle touring, which also helped give rise to the female emancipation movement.

The Wheels of Chance features a story about a man and a woman cycling through the English countryside and addresses topics of social change, like female emancipation. It was written at the height of the first cycling craze (1890–1905), when practical, comfortable bicycles first became widely and cheaply available and before the rise of the automobile. The advent of the bicycle stirred sudden and profound changes in the social life of England when even the working class could travel far, fast and cheap, and the idea of traveling for pleasure became a possibility for thousands of people for the first time. This new freedom began to weaken the rigid English class structure and it gave a powerful boost to the existing movement toward female emancipation, which wells explores in his story… Continue Reading

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