Item #15456 THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY [in 24 fortnightly parts]. H. G. Wells.
THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY [in 24 fortnightly parts].
THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY [in 24 fortnightly parts].
THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY [in 24 fortnightly parts].

THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY [in 24 fortnightly parts].

Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind. London: George Newnes, [Nov 1919 - Nov 1920]. Original color pictorial wrappers.

First Appearance of this grandiose work, in the 24 fortnightly wrappered parts as originally issued.

[Wells] and his friends on the League of Nations committee had discussed text­books and methods of education, as a way of preventing further wars, but... they refused, on the grounds of lack of time, lack of formal preparation, and unwillingness to give the effort. Wells decided that he must do it himself. He and Jane agreed to take a year to research, formulate, and write a book designed to replace the histories then available. It was a remarkable gamble. The income from Wells's past writing would inevitably dry up during such a year. The boys were still at school and in university,... [and] Wells was responsible for the care and education of his child by Rebecca West... So, late in 1918, about Christmas, H.G. and Jane sat down to begin work on what would be one of the more significant and widely read books of our century, THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY.

As we look back on the OUTLINE today, it is clear that the work made a number of significant contributions to our understanding of the past. Some of these were revolutionary enough still to strike chords of admiration, and, one supposes, discords of fear and hatred. Their impact on Wells himself was immense, and much of his later writing... are imbued with his historical findings" [Smith].

A complete set includes 47 color plates (two in each part except one in the 13th), one of which is usually reproduced as the cover illustration. Part 12 includes the slip for having the first half of THE OUTLINE bound up, and Part 15 has the front-cover slip citing the price increase. These parts were issued in considerable numbers, but buyers were urged (by ads on some of the issues' rear cover) to have them bound up in two volumes for posterity; those that were not so bound seldom survive in collectible condition today. This, however, is a near-fine set, with scarcely any of the usual wear to the delicate spines -- thus, a scarce set in this condition. Wells Soc. 70 (note); Hammond E18 (note). Housed in a simple but sturdy cloth case that has gilt lettering on its cover rather than on its spine. Item #15456

Price: $875.00

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