A Little History of The World


In 1935, Ernst Gombrich was invited to attempt a history of the world for younger readers.  He was 26 years old had a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job. He completed the task Historyin six weeks.

This is a fascinating book. In 40 concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man, the story of us, from the Stone Age to the Atomic Bomb.  However, instead of providing the reader with a deluge of dates and facts, Gombrich leaves out the boring bits and recounts our history in an amiable way as if he is in the room with you – telling a story.

This story starts with ‘Once upon a time’ and as Gombrich weaves expertly in and out of real-life events we learn of humanity’s achievements and are reminded of our failings. We cannot see where the story ends, but we do hope there is a happy ending.

Ernst Gombrich’s wonderful book demonstrates that history does not need to be boring or stuffy; history books do not need to be covered with a thick layer of centuries old dust before they appear interesting. It is the tales contained within the covers that are important – it’s all about the stories!


Among E. H. GOMBRICH’s many writings are the international bestsellers The Story of Art and Art and Illusion. He was director of the Warburg Institute of the University of London from 1959 to 1976. For further information please click here

3 thoughts on “A Little History of The World

  1. I adore this book. I’ve bought so many copies of it as presents for people, I’ve recommended it to many more and, when I worked as a bookseller, I made sure it was always in stock. When someone came in looking for a gift, or for an unusual but interesting read, I’d place it in their hands. I like to think I’ve done a little bit of good in the world by spreading the love for this marvellous book. 🙂

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