Ann Veronica

Ann Veronica is a New Woman novel by H. G. Wells published in 1909.

Ann Veronica describes the rebellion of Ann Veronica Stanley, "a young lady of nearly two-and-twenty",[1] against her middle-class father's stern patriarchal rule. The novel dramatizes the contemporary problem of the New Woman. It is set in Victorian era London and environs, except for an Alpine excursion. Ann Veronica offers vignettes of the Women's suffrage movement in Great Britain and features a chapter inspired by the 1908 attempt of suffragettes to storm Parliament.

Ann Veronica
First Edition Cover
AuthorH. G. Wells
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherT. Fisher Unwin
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover)


Mr. Stanley forbids his adult daughter, a biology student at Tredgold Women's College and the youngest of his five children, to attend a fancy dress ball in London, causing a crisis. Ann Veronica is planning to attend the dance with friends of a down-at-heel artistic family living nearby and has been chafing at other restrictions imposed for no apparent reason on her. After her father resorts to force to stop her from attending the ball, she leaves her home in the fictional south London suburb of Morningside Park in order to live independently in an apartment "in a street near the Hampstead Road" in North London.[2] Unable to find appropriate employment, she borrows forty pounds from Mr. Ramage, an older man, without realizing she is compromising herself.

With this money, Ann Veronica is able to devote herself to study in the biological laboratory of the Central Imperial College (a constituent college of London University) where she meets and falls in love with Capes, the laboratory's "demonstrator."[3] But Mr. Ramage loses little time in trying to take advantage of the situation, precipitating a crisis. Distraught after Ramage tries to force himself on her, Ann Veronica temporarily abandons her studies and devotes herself to the cause of women's suffrage; she is arrested storming Parliament and spends a month in prison.

Sobered by the experience, Ann Veronica convinces herself of the necessity of compromise. She returns to her father's home and engages herself to marry an admirer she does not love, Hubert Manning. But she soon changes her mind, renounces the engagement, and boldly tells Capes she loves him.

Though he returns Ann Veronica's love, at first the thirty-year-old Capes insists on the impossibility of the situation: he is a married (albeit separated) man with a sullied reputation because of an affair that became public. They can only be friends, he declares. But Ann Veronica is undeterred by his confession and his prudence, and finally Capes's resistance buckles: "She stood up and held her arms toward him. 'I want you to kiss me,' she said. . . . 'I want you. I want you to be my lover. I want to give myself to you. I want to be whatever I can to you.' She paused for a moment. 'Is that plain?' she asked."[4]

Capes decides to throw over his employment at the college in order to live with Ann Veronica, and they enjoy a glorious "honeymoon" in the Alps. A final chapter shows the happy couple four years and four months later living in London. Capes has become a successful playwright, and Ann Veronica is pregnant and has reconciled with her family.


Ann Veronica created a sensation when published in the fall of 1909 because of the feminist sensibilities of the heroine and also because of the affair Wells was having with Amber Reeves, the woman who inspired the novel's eponymous character.

Although the novel now seems very tame, Ann Veronica was considered a scandalous work by many in its day and was denounced as "capable of poisoning the minds of those who read it" by The Spectator.[5]

Ann Veronica was included in the Modern Library in 1917, the year the publishing company was founded. Subsequent Modern Library editions were published in 1926, 1928, and 1933.


Ann Veronica was made into a musical in 1969; both the musical and one of the numbers within are titled "Ann Veronica".

It was filmed for television in 1952 with Margaret Lockwood in the title role.

See also


  1. ^ H. G. Wells, Ann Veronica, Ch. 1, §1.
  2. ^ H. G. Wells, Ann Veronica, Ch. 5, §6.
  3. ^ H. G. Wells, Ann Veronica, Ch. 8.
  4. ^ H. G. Wells, Ann Veronica, Ch. 14, §5.
  5. ^ Vincent Brome, H. G. Wells: A Biography (London, New York, and Toronto: Longman, Green, 1951), p. 112.

External links

1909 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1909.

Ann Veronica (film)

Ann Veronica is a 1952 British TV version of the H. G. Wells novel of the same name.

It stars Margaret Lockwood. Lockwood was going to make a film version of this book in 1950 after Highly Dangerous. The project kept being delayed.The production was well received.

Ann Veronica Janssens

Ann Veronica Janssens is a contemporary visual artist who works primarily in light. She was born in 1956 in Folkestone, England. She lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.

Base Design

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In the Abyss

"In the Abyss" is a short story by English writer H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in Pearson's Magazine. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells first published in 1897. The story describes a journey to the ocean bed in a specially-designed metal sphere; the explorer within discovers a civilization of human-like creatures.

Janet Mahoney

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Joseph Wells (cricketer)

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Mary Millar

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Nancy Carroll

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Pierre Droulers

Pierre Droulers (born 5 July 1951 in La Madeleine, France) is a French and Belgian choreographer and dancer.

He spent three years in artistic training at Maurice Béjart's Mudra School in Brussels and then studied with Jerzy Grotowski in Poland. Later, he participated in Bob Wilson's workshops in Paris. In 1978, during a trip in New York City, he discovered Steve Paxton's work which was a source of inspiration.

Since September 2005, he has been co-directing Charleroi/Danses, the Choreographic Centre of the French Community, with Michèle Anne De Mey, Thierry De Mey and Vincent Thirion.

Ronald Gow

Ronald Gow (1 November 1897 – 27 April 1993) was an English dramatist, best known for Love on the Dole (1934).

Born in Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire, the son of a bank manager, Gow attended Altrincham County High School. After training as a chemist, he returned to his old school as a teacher. In the late 1920s he made several educational silent films with his pupils: The People of the Axe (1926) and The People of the Lake (1928) recreated life in ancient Britain, the latter produced 'with the approval of' Sir William Boyd Dawkins; The Man Who Changed His Mind (1928) was a Boy Scout adventure with a cameo from Robert Baden-Powell; The Glittering Sword (1929) was a medieval parable about disarmament.

Writing occupied his spare time during his years as a schoolmaster, and he wrote several plays for the BBC. At the age of 35 he had his first professional production, in London and New York, with Gallow's Glorious (1933), a play about the American slavery abolitionist John Brown.

In 1934 he wrote Love on the Dole, based on Walter Greenwood's novel about unemployment in Salford during the Great Depression. The play was a huge success. Wendy Hiller played the lead, and also made her first film appearance in the Gow-scripted Lancashire Luck.

In 1937 Hiller and Gow married. They later moved to Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, where they raised two children, Ann (1939–2006) and Anthony (b. 1942). He lived with Hiller at their home, "Spindles", until his death in 1993. He continued writing plays into his eighties, providing material for his wife in adaptations of Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1946), which was a great success while Ann Veronica (1949), adapted from the H. G. Wells novel, quickly proved a commercial failure. Gow was co-credited for the book used in the musical version of Ann Veronica which premiered in 1969. His other adaptations include Vita Sackville-West's The Edwardians and A Boston Story (1966), based on Henry James' Watch and Ward.

Spithead and Nore mutinies

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The mutinies were extremely concerning for Britain, because at the time the country was at war with Revolutionary France, and the Navy was the most significant component of the war effort. There were also concerns among the government that the mutinies might be part of wider attempts at revolutionary sedition instigated by societies such as the London Corresponding Society and the United Irishmen.

The Cone

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The Plattner Story

"The Plattner Story" is a short story by English writer H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in The New Review. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells first published in 1897, and in The Country of the Blind and Other Stories, a collection of his short stories first published in 1911. In the story, a man recounts his experiences in a parallel world.

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The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman

The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman is a 1914 novel by H. G. Wells.

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