About the book (from Wikipedia):
The protagonist is the novel’s first-person narrator, Stephen Stratton. The Passionate Friends is written as if addressed to Stephen’s eldest son, who is on the verge of adolescence. Stephen is the only child of a rector who loses his faith due to Darwinism.
The Passionate Friends is also notable as the first introduction of Wells’s notion of an “open conspiracy” of individuals to achieve a world state through an “open conspiracy against potentates and prejudices and all the separating powers of darkness.”