They are palaces, made of jewels, free-floating, but also the insides of clocks- and states of mind- and avatars of the early morning. I present myself at a gatehouse and say "I have come to find peace." And the gatekeeper replies, "I have never known peace here."
He was ambushed by greatness. Otherwise he'd have been a character actor, moving from one forgettable TV series to the next. But this one role- he wasn't sure he wanted it at first- because he took himself seriously and the ears were silly- turned out to be a life's work. There were other things he did- including a private life- but who'd have noticed the poems and the photographs if it hadn't been for the role? He wrote two autobiographies, the first trying to distance himself from the role and the other shrugging and going, "Oh, all right then".
An early 20th century Tristan and Isolde- featuring two rather stuffy lovers- stuffy even for their era (but wasn't the Edwardian age actually quite raffish and fast?)- whose tragic destiny is very largely of their own fat-headed making. Did Wells mean them to come across as such duffers? Perhaps- because his people are rarely as costive and conformist as these two are. Otherwise a rather beautiful book, acute on the subject of sexual possessiveness, impassioned in the case it makes for female emancipation, fascinating for the sometimes edgy dialogue between Wells the student of human nature and Wells the Utopian.