Previous Page of 231Next Page

A Short History of Nearly Everything




Short History of

Nearly Everything


Copyright © 2003 by Bill Bryson

All rights reserved under International  

and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.  

Published in the United States of America by  

andom House Large Print in association with  

Broadway Books, New York and simultaneously  

in Canada by Random House of  

Canada Limited, Toronto.  

Distributed by Random House, Inc., New York.

The Library of Congress has established a  

Cataloging-in-Publication record for this title.







As I sit here, in early 2003, I have before me several pages of manuscript bearing majestically  

encouraging and tactful notes from Ian Tattersal of the American Museum of Natural History  

pointing out, inter alia, that Perigueux is not a wineproducing region, that it is inventive but a  

touch unorthodox of me to italicize taxonomic divisions above the level of genus and species,  

that I have persistently misspelled Olorgesaille, a place that I recently visited, and so on in  

similar vein through two chapters of text covering his area of expertise, early humans.

Goodness knows how many other inky embarrassments may lurk in these pages yet, but it  

is thanks to Dr. Tattersall and all of those whom I am about to mention that there aren't many  

hundreds more. I cannot begin to thank adequately those who helped me in the preparation of  

this book. I am especially indebted to the following, who were uniformly generous and kindly  

and showed the most heroic reserves of patience in answering one simple, endlessly repeated  

question: "I'm sorry, but can you explain that again?"

In the United States: Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in New  

York; John Thorstensen, Mary K. Hudson, and David Blanchflower of Dartmouth College in  

Hanover, New Hampshire; Dr. William Abdu and Dr. Bryan Marsh of Dartmouth-Hitchcock  

Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire; Ray Anderson and Brian Witzke of the Iowa  

Department of Natural Resources, Iowa city; Mike Voorhies of the University of Nebraska  

and Ashfall Fossil Beds State Park near Orchard, Nebraska; Chuck Offenburger of Buena  

Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa; Ken Rancourt, director of research, Mount Washington  

Observatory, Gorham, New Hampshire; Paul Doss, geologist of Yellowstone National Park,  

and his wife, Heidi, also of the National Park; Frank Asara of the University of California at  

Berkeley; Oliver Payne and Lynn Addison of the National Geographic Society; James O.  

Farlow, IndianaPurdue University; Roger L. Larson, professor of marine geophysics,  

University of Rhode Island; Jeff Guinn of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram news

paper; Jerry Kasten of Dallas, Texas; and the staff of the Iowa Historical Society in Des  


In England: David Caplin of Imperial College, London; Richard Fortey, Les Ellis, and Kathy  

Way of the Natural History Museum; Martin Raff of University College, London; Rosalind  

Harding of the Institute of Biological Anthropology in Oxford; Dr. Laurence Smaje, formerly  

of the Wellcome Institute; and Keith Blackmore of The Times.

In Australia: the Reverend Robert Evans of Hazelbrook, New South Wales; Alan Thorne  

and Victoria Bennett of the Australian National University in Canberra; Louise Burke and  

John Hawley of Canberra; Anne Milne of the Sydney Morning Herald; Ian Nowak, formerly  

of the Geological Society of Western Australia; Thomas H. Rich of Museum Victoria; Tim  

Flannery, director of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide; and the very helpful staff of  

the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney.

And elsewhere: Sue Superville, information center manager at the Museum of New Zealand  

in Wellington, and Dr. Emma Mbua, Dr. Koen Maes, and Jillani Ngalla of the Kenya National  

Museum in Nairobi.

I am also deeply and variously indebted to Patrick Janson-Smith, Gerald Howard, Marianne  

Velmans, Alison Tulett, Larry Finlay, Steve Rubin, Jed Mattes, Carol Heaton, Charles Elliott,


David Bryson, Felicity Bryson, Dan McLean, Nick Southern, Patrick Gallagher, Larry  

Ashmead, and the staff of the peerless and ever-cheery Howe Library in Hanover, New  


Above all, and as always, my profoundest thanks to my dear wife, Cynthia.

Previous Page of 231Next Page

Comments & Reviews (1)

Login or Facebook Sign in with Twitter

library_icon_grey.png Add share_icon_grey.png Share

Who's Reading