In 1935, with a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich was invited to attempt a history of the world for younger readers. Amazingly, he completed the task in an intense six weeks, and Eine kurze Weltgeschichte fur junge Leser was published in Vienna to immediate success, and is not available in over thirty languages across the world.
First published in English in 2005, A Little History of the World has sold over half a million copies and become one of the treasures of historical writing. In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man from the stone age to the atomic bomb. In between emerges a colourful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art, and the spread of limitations of science.