Ann Veronica: a Modern Love
by H. G. Wells, 1909, read as an ebook from manybooks.net
This is an interesting piece, that captures the changing social structures of London at the turn of the last century. Wells’ protagonist, the eponymous Ann Veronica, is bright, ambitious, naive, and, in many ways, a typical rebellious teenager.
Through Ann Veronica’s experiences, we’re exposed to enthusiastic utopianists of several flavors, including Socialists, Feminists, and advocates of Free Love (not coincidentally, also interests of Wells). But Wells happily points out that many of these radicals are painfully human. They have petty egos, their personal agendas drive their idealism, and many are simply using their causes as an excuse for distraction from a tedious or unpleasant situation. In fact, the depiction of the idealists (and the more cynical traditionalists) is more interesting than the plot, which falls back on a traditional happy ending of sorts.