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Sam Leith in The Spectator got stuck into David Lodge’s fictional biography of HG Wells A MAN OF PARTS:

In the history of seduction, there can have been few scenes quite like this one:

‘Am I dreaming?’, she said when she opened her eyes.

‘No,’ he said, and kissed her again.

‘But what about Jane?’ she said. ‘You love Jane.’

‘Yes, I love Jane, and Jane loves me, but there are many kinds of love, Amber. You’ve read A Modern Utopia, you’ve read In the Days of the Comet, you know my views on free, healthy, life-enhancing sexual relationships. Jane shares them.’

They embraced and lay in eachother’s arms, exploring and gently stroking eachother’s bodies like blind people. It was an intensely erotic experience.

‘Is that your…?’ Amber whispered.

‘That is my erect penis,’ he said, ‘a column of blood, one of the marvels of nature, a miracle of hydraulic engineering.’

‘It’s enormous,’ she said.

No wonder H. G. Wells was a hit with the lassies! A reading list of his own work ever at hand to whisper, sweet-nothing-style, into a young lady’s ear; a shrewd understanding of hydraulic science; and a huge cock: he had them all.

In an age when many on the Left were theorising about free love, Wells was doing everything he could to practise it. His incurable goatishness is front and centre in this novelisation of his life, and an epigraph from the Collins dictionary makes explicit the bawdy pun on the word ‘parts’ in the title.

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