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   Kipps, by H. G. Wells  
 
  Novel, first publication in October 1905 , latest edition in October 2002
 
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      Young Artie Kipps, draper's assistant, is desperate to escape a living death in the retail trade. Embarking on self-improvement he allows first a lady, then an unexpected legacy, to turn his head - until, paradoxically, "ruin" saves him. From the savoir faire of high society to the pomp and gravitas of playwrights and socialists, Kipps pokes fun at a gallery of social pretensions.

     
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