A Short History of the World is a period-piece non-fictional historic work. The book was largely inspired by Wells's earlier 1919 work The Outline of History. It summarises the scientific knowledge of the time regarding the history of Earth and life and begins with its origins, goes on to explain the development of the Earth and life on Earth, reaching primitive thought and the development of humankind from the Cradle of Civilisation. The book ends with the outcome of the First World War, the Russian famine of 1921, and the League of Nations in 1922. Herbert George Wells (1866–1946), known as H. G. Wells, was a prolific English writer in many genres, including the novel, history, politics, and social commentary, and textbooks and rules for war games.