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MMVIII Calendar

12
BOOKS
THAT
CHANGED
THE
WORLD
Melvyn Bragg
How
words
and wisdom
have shaped
our lives
12 Books that Changed the World
by Melvyn Bragg

W
hen we think of great events in the history of the world, we rich variety of human endeavour and a great diversity of characters.
tend to think of war, revolution, political upheaval or natural There are also surprises. Here are famous books by Darwin, Newton
catastrophe. But throughout history there have been moments and Shakespeare but we also discover the stories behind some less well-
of vital importance that have taken place not on the battlefield, or in known works, such as Marie Stopes’ Married Love, the original radical
the palaces of power, or even in the violence of nature, but between the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman —
pages of a book. and even the rules to an obscure ball game that became the most popular
In our digitised age of instant information it is easy to underestimate sport in the world.
the power of the printed word. In his fascinating book, Melvyn Bragg Definitive, always illuminating and sometimes controversial, the
presents a vivid reminder of the book as agent of social, political and hidden story of these twelve books demonstrates the enduring impact of
personal revolution. Twelve Books that Changed the World presents a one of the world’s great inventions — the book.

January February March April


Principia Mathematica Married Love Magna Carta Book of Rules of
Isaac Newton (1687) Marie Stopes (1918) (1215) Association Football (1863)

III
Principia Mathematica I Married Love
Magna Carta
Book of Rules of

IV
Isaac Newton (1687) Marie Stopes (1918) Association Football (1863)
(1215)
1 2 3 4 5 6 31 1 2 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 10 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
4 5 6 7 8 9

II
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
11 12 13 14 15 16 17

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
18 19 20 21 22 23 24

28 29 30 31 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 28 29 30
25 26 27 28 29

This work contains Newton’s laws of The first book to explore women’s The Magna Carta was undoubtedly the Following a first meeting in a London
motion forming the foundation of sexual desires, it argued for equal most significant early influence on the pub on 26 October 1863, there are now
classical mechanics, as well as his law partnerships in marriage and other extensive historical process that led to universally accepted rules for Football
of universal gravitation. such feminist notions of the time. the rule of constitutional law today. and the game is played world-wide.

May June July August


On the Origin of Species On the Abolition of A Vindication of the Experimental Researches
Charles Darwin (1859) the Slave Trade Rights of Women in Electricity
William Wilberforce (1789) Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) Michael Faraday (1839)

VII

On the Origin of Species On the Abolition of VI A vindication of the


Rights of Women
Experimental Researches
in Electricity VIII
Charles Darwin (1859) the Slave Trade Michael Faraday (1839-1855)
1 2 3 4 William Wilberforce (1789) Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)
1 2 3
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
1
5 6 7 8 9 10 11

V
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
12 13 14 15 16 17 18

11 12 13 14 15 16 17
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
19 20 21 22 23 24 25

18 19 20 21 22 23 24
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
26 27 28 29 30 31

25 26 27 28 29 30 31
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 28 29 30 31

14

This work introduced the controversial Wilberforce was the leading English One of the earliest works of feminist A chemist and physicist (or, natural
theory (even today) that populations abolitionist, heading a parliamentary philosophy, this books responds to the philosopher, as known at the time)
evolve over the course of generations campaign against the British slave theorists of the eighteenth century who who contributed to the fields of elec-
through a process of natural selection. trade and finally saw this to fruition. wanted to deny women an education. tromagnetism and electrochemistry.

September October November December


Patent for Arkwright’s The King James Bible An Inquiry into the Nature and The First Folio
Spinning Machine William Tyndale (1611) Causes of the Wealth of Nations William Shakespeare (1623)
Richard Arkwright (1769) Adam Smith (1776)

An Inquiry into the


IX X XII
Patent for Arkwright’s The King James Bible Nature and Causes of the

XI
Spinning Machine William Tyndale (1611) Wealth of Nations The First Folio
Richard Arkwright (1769) Adam Smith (1776) William Shakespear (1623)
4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 1 2

10 11 12 13 14 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
8 9
3 4 5 6 7 8 9

18 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
15 16 17 19 20 21
10 11 12 13 14 15 16

22 23 24 28 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
25 26 27 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
17 18 19 20 21 22 23

29 30 27 28 29 30 31 29 30 31
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

From barber and wig-maker, to It was King James’ authorisation that Is an account of political economy at Coming seven years after his death, the
engineer and entrepreneur, Arkwright was legally necessary for the Church the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, first publication of Shakespeare’s plays
spear-headed the Industrial Revolution of England to translate, publish and and is widely considered to be the first was entitled Mr. William Shakespeares
and left his mark on today’s factories. distribute the Bible in England. modern work in the field of economics. Comedies, Histories & Tragedies.
Principia Mathematica
I
Isaac Newton (1687)
1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

28 29 30 31
Married Love
Marie Stopes (1918)

II
1 2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

25 26 27 28 29
31
Magna Carta
(1215)
1 2
III
3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22 23

24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Book of Rules of

IV
Association Football (1863)
1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

28 29 30
On the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin (1859)
1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8 9 10 11

V
12 13 14 15 16 17 18

19 20 21 22 23 24 25

26 27 28 29 30 31
On the Abolition of VI
the Slave Trade
William Wilberforce (1789)
30 1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

23 24 25 26 27 28 29
VII

A vindication of the
Rights of Women
Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)
1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

28 29 30 31
VIII
Experimental Researches
in Electricity
Michael Faraday (1839-1855)
1 2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

18 19 20 21 22 23 24

25 26 27 28 29 30 31

14
IX
Patent for Arkwright’s
Spinning Machine
Richard Arkwright (1769)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

29 30
X
The King James Bible
William Tyndale (1611)

1 2 3 4 5

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

20 21 22 23 24 25 26

27 28 29 30 31
An Inquiry into the
Nature and Causes of the

XI
Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith (1776)
1 2

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22 23

24 25 26 27 28 29 30
The First Folio
William Shakespeare (1623)
XII
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

29 30 31

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