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H.G. Wells is best known as "the father of science fiction". However, the bulk of his writing is both non-fiction and concerned with social justice. While it is widely held that The Rights of Man (1940) helped shape the drafting of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this article argues that Wells' influence extended well beyond this. Through his contribution to rights-based debates concerning social liberalism, internationalism, liberal internationalism, and international law, between the late 1890s and his death in 1946, Wells made crucial interventions in emerging discourses around rights and was a significant actor in rights-based civil society.