The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade.

The Martyrdom of Man was a history of the world from an entirely new viewpoint, and was a prominent freethinking text of the late Nineteenth century. It is not an exaggeration to say that it provided a view of History as revolutionary as Darwin's view of Science - an entirely new and non-religious way of looking at the subject. It was very popular and influential on publication in the 1870's and long after - Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and George Orwell were all heavily influenced.

Even Sherlock Holmes said "Let me recommend this book, -- one of the most remarkable ever penned. It is Winwood Reade's 'Martyrdom of Man.'"

Though Watson was less impressed: "I sat in the window with the volume in my hand, but my thoughts were far from the daring speculations of the writer. My mind ran upon our late visitor,-- her smiles, the deep rich tones of her voice, the strange mystery which overhung her life."
-- The Sign of Four

If you, like Watson, have something as important to think about, go for it. otherwise, here it is -

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