illuminating history

The Outline of History by HG Wells

I’m reading and listening to and very much enjoying The Outline of History (1919) by H.G. Wells.

Wells writes of Herodotus,

who has a great interest for us because he was among the first writers of critical and intelligent history …

But we will not complete the biography of this most interesting man, nor will we enter into any criticism of his garrulous, marvel-telling, and most entertaining history. It is a book to which all intelligent readers come sooner or later, abounding as it does in illuminating errors…

I can’t describe the Outline as garrulous or marvel-telling, but it is entertaining — and well written. The phrase that stands out for me is this: "abounding as it does in illuminating errors."

That describes very well my own assessment of the Outline itself. It’s Wells’s illuminating errors I’d like to spend some time with. If I blog about them here, I will be very grateful for the existence of this website:

Because "Vince V." has given the web this gift of a well-organized booksite, I no longer have to.

Update, 8/22: I’m afraid the mindvessel website only has the Outline through chapter 20 of volume 1. I hope the project is still in progress.


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