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The Outline Of History

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Overview

Originally published in 1919, this early work by legendary English author H. G. Wells is both expensive and hard to find in its first edition. Its 667 pages contain a wealth of information on the history of humanity and include chapters on The First Civilisations, The Languages of Mankind, The Greeks and the Persians and much more. This ambitious and fascinating work was written by Wells in response to the poor textbooks of his time and is thoroughly recommended for those interested in the history of Man. Many of...
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The Outline of History: Volume 1, Prehistory to the Roman Republic (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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Overview

Originally published in 1919, this early work by legendary English author H. G. Wells is both expensive and hard to find in its first edition. Its 667 pages contain a wealth of information on the history of humanity and include chapters on The First Civilisations, The Languages of Mankind, The Greeks and the Persians and much more. This ambitious and fascinating work was written by Wells in response to the poor textbooks of his time and is thoroughly recommended for those interested in the history of Man. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781177247634
  • Publisher: Nabu Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/2010
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

H. G. Wells
"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe," H. G. Wells once said. Widely revered as the father of science fiction, the English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian penned ominous -- and educated -- glimpses at humanity's possible future, including The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).

Biography

Social philosopher, utopian, novelist, and "father" of science fiction and science fantasy, Herbert George Wells was born on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent. His father was a poor businessman, and young Bertie's mother had to work as a lady's maid. Living "below stairs" with his mother at an estate called Uppark, Bertie would sneak into the grand library to read Plato, Swift, and Voltaire, authors who deeply influenced his later works. He shoed literary and artistic talent in his early stories and paintings, but the family had limited means, and when he was fourteen years old, Bertie was sent as an apprentice to a dealer in cloth and dry goods, work he disliked.

He held jobs in other trades before winning a scholarship to study biology at the Normal School of Science in London. The eminent biologist T. H. Huxley, a friend and proponent of Darwin, was his teacher; about him Wells later said, "I believed then he was the greatest man I was ever likely to meet." Under Huxley's influence, Wells learned the science that would inspire many of his creative works and cultivated the skepticism about the likelihood of human progress that would infuse his writing.

Teaching, textbook writing, and journalism occupied Wells until 1895, when he made his literary debut with the now-legendary novel The Time Machine, which was followed before the end of the century by The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, books that established him as a major writer. Fiercely critical of Victorian mores, he published voluminously, in fiction and nonfiction, on the subject of politics and social philosophy. Biological evolution does not ensure moral progress, as Wells would repeat throughout his life, during which he witnessed two world wars and the debasement of science for military and political ends.

In addition to social commentary presented in the guise of science fiction, Wells authored comic novels like Love and Mrs. Lewisham, Kipps, and The History of Mister Polly that are Dickensian in their scope and feeling, and a feminist novel, Ann Veronica. He wrote specific social commentary in The New Machiavelli, an attack on the socialist Fabian Society, which he had joined and then rejected, and literary parody (of Henry James) in Boon. He wrote textbooks of biology, and his massive The Outline of History was a major international bestseller.

By the time Wells reached middle age, he was admired around the world, and he used his fame to promote his utopian vision, warning that the future promised "Knowledge or extinction." He met with such preeminent political figures as Lenin, Roosevelt, and Stalin, and continued to publish, travel, and educate during his final years. Herbert George Wells died in London on August 13, 1946.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The War of the Worlds.

Good To Know

In 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel. However, he eventually left her for one of his brightest students, Amy Catherine, whom he married in 1895.

Wells was once interviewed on the radio by an extremely nervous Orson Welles. The two are unrelated, of course.

Many of Wells's novels became film adaptations, including The Island of Dr. Moreau, filmed in 1996 by Richard Stanley and John Frankenheimer, and The Time Machine, filmed in 2002 by Wells's great-grandson, Simon Wells.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Herbert George Wells (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1866
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bromley, Kent, England
    1. Date of Death:
      August 13, 1946
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2007

    Essential History

    HG Wells' Outline of History is the best and most important history book I've ever read, 'BA in history and political science 25 years ago, and still an avid student of these subjects'. Offers essential insight into where the human race has come from, which is key to understanding where we are and where we are going.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2006

    Wells' Mediterranean Race

    H. G. Wells¿ darkish, brownish, Mediterranean, Caucasian race was really Ethiopian, the reason why their southern boundaries merged with his darker African Negro race, an observation that takes forever to hone, seeing it but not recognizing it for years, until that awareness-light turns on and the code is broken. Thank you, Mr. Wells, for those well hidden little gems. Putting them right in front of us was the perfect hiding place. Had you only known, would you have been so generous with your praise?

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    Just what it says it is; an outline of History.

    I've known about this book fot years but could never find it. I'm glad I finally did. I've always felt that History when it is well written is exciting to read. History when it is poorly written is a chore to read. Welles' History proves that he was a great writer. This is exciting and fun to read. Although he is very critical of Alexander, Julius Caesar, and Rome.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2013

    Very interesting - easily worth the price.

    Very good overview that gets into more depth as it gets closer to more modern times.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Wow!!!

    Will read it again.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2014

    The Greatest Story Ever Told! I am eternally grateful that Barn

    The Greatest Story Ever Told!

    I am eternally grateful that Barnes and Noble has republished this classic two-volume text on world history. I own both the two-volume Barnes and Nobles editions as well as the 1971 edition that extends the narrative after World War 1, including World War 2, the formation of the U.N., the Cold War, and the Space Race. The Outline of History is the best and most underrated book by H. G. Wells, the father of science fiction and universal history, much better than all his scientific romances combined since it is actually a true story. It is a supremely written universal history and it tells the epic adventure of the history of the world, life, and mankind according to the sciences of astronomy, biology, geology, anthropology, and world history. This is the modern scientific worldview expounded by Wells in the early twentieth century and the secular Bible of the modern era. As one of the greatest English writers in history, Wells shows great insight into the changes and meanings of world history, adding plenty of colorful descriptions and analogies to explain complex processes as well as many witty satirical remarks. Naturally, the book is biased in its materialism, biocentrism, and scientism, but it tries and largely succeeds in remaining objective, historical, and scientific throughout. The book spans from the origins of the solar system to the outbreak of World War 1, ending with final speculations about the possible future formation of a world state and global government. Based on the Newtonian science of the time, Wells speculates that the universe, the totality of space and time, has existed for billions of years or has existed for an infinite amount of time. After dealing with the origin and evolution of our planet, the story follows the Darwinian science of the time and covers the origin of life in the first seas and the evolution of life towards dry land, the sky, and beyond. The geological ages covered include the Ages of Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Mammals and Birds, Apes and Submen, and finally Mankind. Despite the subsequent progressive ages, the Paleolithic Age, the Neolithic Age, the Industrial Age, and the various imperial ages of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols, Arabs, and later Europeans, the many wars detailed in the book and the evolutionary struggle for existence prove that history is more nature red in tooth and claw and more about the march of armies than the march of progress, knowledge, and enlightenment. The book likewise covers the history of religion, including paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, giving interesting biographies of the major founders of these great but outdated faiths. The book largely follows the increasing complexity of life and civilization on earth. Despite the sufferings and tragedies of world history, life moves on and slowly progresses, perpetually dying as the old generation and being reborn as the new generation, and the range of life widens until the modern era when life has left our little planet and started to explore the wider universe. Thus, humanity finds itself on the path either to self-imposed destruction by modern global warfare or to further social and biological evolution in the formation of a world state and the colonization of space. It appears despite the sheer length of this epic story, we are merely at the twilight of the dawn and future history will be far longer and greater than all the history already recorded, if we don’t blow ourselves up first of course. I’d recommend this book as the ultimate encyclopedia, but I would recommend that readers first buy and read its abridgement, A Short History of the World (Penguin Classics), as preparation for this much fuller and larger two-volume world history. This story is clearly the greatest story ever told!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    Will

    This is one of the only h.g. wells books without a rp wow

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