H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. After working as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in 1884, studying under T. H. Huxley. He was awarded a first-class honours degree in biology and resumed teaching but had to retire after a kick from an ill-natured pupil afflicted his kidneys. He worked in poverty in London as a crammer while experimenting in journalism and stories. It was with THE TIME MACHINE (1895) that he had his real breakthrough.
For my money, this was the birth of modern science fiction. Mary Shelley invented science fiction with Frankenstein, but The Time Machine is something else. I like to try to imagine people reading this when it was originally published as a newspaper serial in 1895 England. Still unforgettable, thrilling, haunting.