Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Little More History

I remember purchasing a copy of the Pelican edition of H.G.Wells' "Short History Of The World" in my mid-teens when I was making my way to a football match at Sunderland's former ground at Roker Park. It was a fine day and as I arrived at the ground early, I sat on the terraces at the Roker End to start reading. I was soon absorbed by its short early chapters with titles such as "The World In Space","The World In Time" and "The Beginning of Life."

I was so taken by the book that when I later arrived in Iraq in 1955 as a National Serviceman without my small library, I purchased a second copy. It is stamped "Coronet Book Shop, Rashid Street, Baghdad", although I suspect that I purchased it in Basra where I was stationed.

Now over half a century later, the excitement I felt when reading Wells' history has now been re-experienced thanks to my reading the book shown above. It is Ernst Gombrich's "A Little History Of The World" which has recently been published in English in a paperback edition (Yale University Press, 2008, £6.99p).

Whilst Gombrich wrote this book for children, adults will find it a delight. Especially, if they have an inquisitive child or grandchild to read it to - gradually, short chapter by short chapter.

The first edition was published in 1936 (the year I was born) in Vienna and it is, therefore, targeted at a mid-European audience. But this itself helps to broaden English reader's horizons - be they old or young.

In Britain, parents and grandparents will always be able to take an excited child to the British Museum, especially to follow up the fine sections on Antiquity.

I would have liked to have seen a chapter on Sub-Saharan Africa and the nature and impact of the Slave Trade, which included the base it provided for much of the initial industrialisation in Britain. And I am also concerned that young girls might be unable to identify with Gombrich's historical sweep as women are sidelined in his history. Why this is so could fruitfully have been faced and more could have been made of the role of women such as Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and Elizabeth I.

But Gombrich's book is to be absorbed and enjoyed, rather than criticised. The final edition includes a chapter based on his own experiences from the end of the First World War when he was 9, up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. This rounds his work off for us. It also has an extra relevance for me in that I was myself approaching 9 at the end the Second World War.

It will also encourage me to return to H.G.Wells. For his own short history is drawn from his larger work entitled "The Outline Of History" which I went on to buy second hand at 8 Shillings and 6 Pence in the days of old money, but which I have only used for reference purposes to date.

But above all it will lead me on to Gombrich. For after he produced the original edition of his little history (which has 40 chapters!), he went on to become the leading art historian of his generation. So I at last need to get hold of a copy of his international bestseller "The Story Of Art" - it has sold 6 million copies to date!


Azarmehr said...

Sounds like worth reading

Anonymous said...


麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,線上遊戲,矽谷麻將,明星3缺一,橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,遊戲區,電玩快打,cs online情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,A片,AIO交友愛情館,AIOAV女優,AV,A漫,免費A片,本土自拍,自拍,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,色情影片,情色網,色情網站,微風成人區,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人文章,成人小說,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080中部人聊天室,080聊天室,中部人聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,苗栗人聊天室,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,一葉情貼圖片區,情色論壇,色情影片,色情網站,微風成人區,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人小說,A片,AV女優,AV,A漫,免費A片,自拍,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080中部人聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,做愛,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,AIO,色情影片,情色網,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人小說,成人電影,麗的色遊戲,自拍,A片,AV女優,AV,A漫,視訊交友網,視訊,視訊交友,免費視訊聊天室,免費視訊,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,中古車,二手車情色貼圖,日本A片,A片下載,情色A片,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,微風成人,成人網站,成人光碟,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人影城A片,A片,A片下載,做愛,成人電影,18成人,日本A片,情色小說,情色電影,成人影城,自拍,情色論壇,成人論壇,情色貼圖,情色,免費A片,成人,成人光碟