All the Knowledge in the World

All the Knowledge in the World The Extraordinary History of the Encyclopaedia

Paperback (07 Sep 2023)

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Publisher's Synopsis

'Witty and geekily eclectic' The Times
An erudite and amusing exploration' Financial Times
'Full of jawdropping facts' Mail on Sunday
'Remarkable . . . engrossing' Sunday Times
'A pleasure' Spectator
'An infectiously enthusiastic history' Times Literary Supplement


The encyclopaedia once shaped our understanding of the world. Now these huge books sell for almost nothing on eBay while we derive information from our phones. What have we lost in this transition? All the Knowledge in the World tracks the story from Ancient Greece to Wikipedia, from modest single-volumes to the 11,000-volume Chinese manuscript that was too big to print. It exposes how encyclopaedias reflect our changing attitudes towards sexuality, race and technology, uncovers a fascinating part of our shared past and wonders whether the promise of complete knowledge - that most human of ambitions - will forever be beyond our grasp.

Book information

ISBN: 9781474610797
Publisher: Orion
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Pub date:
DEWEY: 030.9
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 390
Weight: 296g
Height: 129mm
Width: 197mm
Spine width: 24mm