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This wonderful comedy about orphan and innocent Arthur Kipps was the means by which Wells satirized what he saw as a gross stupidity and blight upon English society; the pretensions of and obsession with class. Humble drapers’ assistant Arthur unexpectedly inherits his grandfathers fortune and is instantly propelled into a higher social strata with the subsequent problems of attaining the required behaviour of a ‘gentleman.’ Wells gets much comic mileage from Arthurs desperate attempts to win the approval of his ‘betters’ and the hand of his Goddess, the ambitious, would be London Bohemian Helen, but there is pathos in his inevitable fall from grace and reunion with Ann, his childhood sweetheart. Wells, the revolutionary, makes some serious political comment and with great foresight predicts the worlds’ citizens as ‘one body’ in the words of the jaundiced socialist Masterman. A joyous thought provoking tale with an ingenious twist in the final moments.

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