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William Winwood Reade (1838 - 1875) was a British historian, explorer, and philosopher. His most famous work, the Martyrdom of Man (1872)—whose summary running head reads "From Nebula to Nation"—is a secular, "universal" history of the Western world. Structurally, it is divided into four "chapters" of approximately 150 pages each: the first chapter, "War", discusses the imprisonment of men's bodies, the second, "Religion", that of their minds, the third, "Liberty", is the closest thing to a conventional European political and intellectual history, and the fourth, "Intellect", which discusses the cosmogony characteristic of a "universal history" Cecil Rhodes, an English-born South African politician and businessman, said that the book "made me what I am". Other admirers of The Martyrdom of Man included H. G. Wells, Winston Churchill, Harry Johnston, George Orwell, Susan Isaacs, A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, and Michael Foot. A laudatory reference is made to the book by Sherlock Holmes in the Sign of the Four.
This is just not my "style" of writing. Completely textbook history and if that is your style, then this would be perfect. The reader is very professorial and fits the book perfectly.