Science Fiction Studies
#82 = Volume 27, Part 3 = November 2000
However, the full content is available here on-line.
The varying opinions of Neanderthal and what was thought and changed along the way including fiction writers:
Wells, Golding, and Auel: Representing the Neanderthal
Drawing upon the fossil records, the study of human origins and early development has necessarily been accretive, indefinite, and equivocal. All the writers of paleoanthropological fiction I survey here studied carefully the available scientific research. Wells, Golding, and Auel do not misread source material so much as reflect the historical development of the disciplines from which they are extrapolating.
In this essay, I analyze the contradictory theories about Neanderthal man that are reflected in H.G. Wells’s “The Grisly Folk” (1921), William Golding’s The Inheritors (1955), and Jean Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980). All three use the scientific thinking about Neanderthal that was current in their day.
Wells’s Ogre. Although David C. Smith has noted that Wells may have inspired more recent novelists, such as Jean Auel and Jorgen Kirsten, to investigate this question in their fiction (74), most literary scholars interested in the scientific content of H.G. Wells’s work, such as Haynes, Huntington, and Reed, have not treated in sufficient depth his writings on human evolution.1 This is surprising, for Wells wrote two short stories on this topic (“A Story of the Stone Age”  and “The Grisly Folk”); he also theorized about the subject in The Outline of History (; I.63-143) and The Science of Life (; 1.405-24; 3.796-822).