Crime

H.G. Wells, the Unrepentant Hat Thief

H.G. Wells once stole the mayor of Cambridge's hat

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) was one of the most accomplished writers of all time. As author of such classics as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man, he is often regarded as the father of modern science fiction. He had another title to add to his resume: hat thief.

Wells was leaving a dinner party one evening and accidentally grabbed the hat of Cambridge Mayor E.S. Peck. Wells, who struggled to find a hat that fit his large head, was immediately smitten with the head covering. He decided to keep it, but before walking off, he wrote the following note to the rightful owner:

“I stole your hat. I like your hat. I shall keep your hat. Whenever I look inside it I shall think of you and of your excellent sherry and of the town of Cambridge. I take off your hat to you.”


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