Joseph Priestley's New Chart of History, published in 1769 as an attachment to his Lectures on History and General Policy, expresses his conviction that all events in world history are mutually related and deserve our intellectual attention. Priestley was a clergyman and scientist, an educator and political theorist. He discovered oxygen, and was an early student of electricity. His support of liberty and freedom of expression in the first years of the French Revolution caused his house and library to be ransacked in 1791 and his flight to the United States. We hope Priestley's intelligence and deals are matched in the endeavours of The Literary Encyclopedia.
"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? So that it shall make us happy? Good God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves.... A book must be like ... an ice-axe to break the sea from inside us.."