Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 130,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

The Outline of History

Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind

Cover image for


Author: H.G. Wells
Published: 1920
Language: English
Wordcount: 389,334 / 1147 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 69.3
LoC Category: D
Downloads: 30,935
Added to site: 2008.03.20 20370
Genre: History

in it in a gaseous state. About it at great distances circle not only our earth, but certain kindred bodies called the planets. These shine in the sky because they reflect the light of the sun; they are near enough for us to note their movements quite easily. Night by night their positions change with regard to the fixed stars.

It is well to understand how empty is space. If, as we have said, the sun were a ball nine feet across, our earth would, in proportion, be the size of a one-inch ball, and. at a distance of 323 yards from the sun. The moon would be a speck the size of a small pea, thirty inches from the earth. Nearer to the sun than the earth would be two other very similar specks, the planets Mercury and Venus, at a distance of 125 and 250 yards respectively. Beyond the earth would come the planets Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, at distances of 500, 1,680, 3,000, 6,000, and 9,500 yards respectively. There would also be a certain number of very much smaller specks, flying about amon

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
Dennis O'Regan


Obviouly, the book is dated and now some items have proven to be incorrect, but much of it is both timeless and insightful, if not inciteful.

It reads more like a novel than the history texts we are used to. Wells also injects his own insights and critiques, and is quite philosophic on many topics.

One of my favorite passages is Wells' observation "But it is the universal weakness of mankind that what we are given to administer we presently imagine we own." The book is full of these wonderful, thoughtful quips.

I'm on my second reaging of the 1936 edition and have downloaded the electronic text as a ready reference.

There is nothing dry about "Outline."



Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

login | register

User ID


reset password

Author of the Day

Elin Barnes
Elin Barnes has done many different things in her life, like being a flight instructor, working for a criminal appeals lawyer and working for many big name technology companies in Silicon Valley (Microsoft, Google etc.). But the one thing that she never thought would actually happen is to write (and finish) a book. Her debut novel, Justification for Murder, has, in the meantime, earned rave reviews and grown into a series. As our author of the day, Barnes reveals why she picked Silicon Valley as the backdrop, her inspiration behind writing a biomedical thriller and how she went for ride-alongs with the San Jose Police Department.
Read full interview...