When Did HG Wells Write a Short History of the World?

H.G. Wells was an English author who is famous for his science fiction novels like “The War of the Worlds” and “The Time Machine”.

However, he was also a historian and wrote several history books. One of his most notable works is “A Short History of the World”. But when did he write it?


Before we dive into the details, let’s first understand what “A Short History of the World” is all about. As the name suggests, it is a book that provides a brief overview of the world’s history from its creation to the First World War. The book was written with a general audience in mind, so it’s easy to read and understand.

The Writing:

H. Wells started writing “A Short History of the World” in 1919 after he visited Versailles Peace Conference which marked the end of World War I.

The conference aimed at creating lasting peace among nations but Wells saw how fragile and temporary peace could be. He felt that people needed to learn from history to avoid repeating past mistakes.

Wells completed writing the book in 1922 and it was published by Cassell & Co. Ltd. The book was an instant success and has since been translated into many languages.

The Content:

“A Short History of the World” covers a vast range of topics from geological formation to human evolution, rise and fall of civilizations, wars, religions, arts and sciences, etc. Wells believed that all these aspects are interconnected and cannot be studied in isolation.

The book reflects Wells’ Darwinian worldview where he sees humanity as an evolving species subject to natural selection. He also emphasizes how various social movements such as feminism, socialism, democracy have contributed to human progress.

The Legacy:

“A Short History of the World” has been widely praised for its clarity, brevity and accessibility. It remains a popular history book and has been used as a reference by many schools and universities.

Wells’ approach towards history was unique as he believed that it should not just be about learning facts and dates, but also about understanding the forces that shaped human society. His book is a testament to his belief and has inspired many to view history in a similar light.


In conclusion, H. Wells wrote “A Short History of the World” between 1919-1922 after he saw the aftermath of World War I.

The book covers a wide range of topics and provides an insightful view of human history. Its legacy continues to inspire people to learn from history and make the world a better place.