One of the greatest of all satires of the power of advertising and the modern press
Presented as a miraculous cure-all, Tono-Bungay is in fact nothing other than a pleasant-tasting liquid with no positive effects. Nonetheless, when the young George Ponderevo is employed by his Uncle Edward to help market this ineffective medicine, he finds his life overwhelmed by its sudden success. Soon, the worthless substance is turned into a formidable fortune, as society becomes convinced of the merits of Tono-Bungay through a combination of skilled advertising and public credulity. As the newly rich George discovers, however, there is far more to class in England than merely the possession of wealth.
This edition includes a newly established text, a full biographical essay on Wells, a list of further reading, and detailed notes. Edward Mendelson’s introduction explores the many ways in which Tono-Bungay satirizes the fictions and delusions that shape modern life.
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H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, in 1866. After an education repeatedly interrupted by his family’s financial problems, he eventually found work as a teacher at a succession of schools, where he began to write his first stories. Wells… More about H. G. Wells