A Short History of the World

Author: H. G. Wells


This SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD is meant to be read straightforwardly almost as a novel is read. It gives in the most general way an account of our present knowledge of history, shorn of elaborations and complications. It has been amply illustrated and everything has been done to make it vivid and clear. From it the reader should be able to get that general view of history which is so necessary a framework for the study of it particular period or the history of a particular country. It may be found useful as a preparatory excursion before the reading of the author’s much fuller and more explicit Outline of History is undertaken. But its especial end is to meet the needs of the busy general reader, too driven to study the maps and time charts of that Outline in detail, who wishes to refresh and repair his faded or fragmentary conceptions of the great adventure of mankind. It is not an abstract or condensation of that former work. Within its aim the Outline admits of no further condensation. This is a much more generalized History, planned and written afresh.


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Chicago: H. G. Wells, "PREFACE," A Short History of the World Original Sources, accessed April 22, 2021, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=87GL9FRPXWMT9GA.

MLA: Wells, H. G. "PREFACE." A Short History of the World, Original Sources. 22 Apr. 2021. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=87GL9FRPXWMT9GA.

Harvard: Wells, HG 1922, 'PREFACE' in A Short History of the World. Original Sources, retrieved 22 April 2021, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=87GL9FRPXWMT9GA.