The Book of Wealth

Hubert Howe Bancroft was a great historian. He was also an avid writer. His interest probably originated from his early life. He began his career as a clerk in a book store. This is where he gained most of his education. Later, he became a book seller. Eventually he opened his own book store in San Francisco. The Book of WealthHe was an enthusiastic collector books and manuscripts. His vast collection can be found in the University of California. However, it was only in later years that Bancroft became a writer. On 21st February 1898, he placed an advertisement in the New York Times. It promoted his infamous 10 volumed book called The Book of Wealth. This detailed analysis of wealth creation sold at a cost of $2,500 per copy for the first or cygne noir edition. The second or fin de siecle edition cost $1,000 per copy. By today’s standards, The Book of Wealth would cost a staggering 25 times as much as it did back in the late 1800’s! Bancroft’s works were advertised as: “It is to deal with everything that is worth knowing concerning wealth…” Only limited numbers of  this rare book were ever published. This naturally increased the scarcity of the book.  Such paucity has also intensified the mystery surrounding the contents of The Book of Wealth. Whenever copies have come up for sale at auction, there has often been fierce bidding. Despite being first printed in 1895, the vast majority of the public have not had an opportunity to read Bancroft’s wealth secrets. Consequently, The Book of Wealth has been confined to the richest individuals and families.

The Book of Wealth and Wealth Building

Allegedly better than Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” The Book of Wealth comprises 10 fully illustrated volumes. The publication provides a detailed analysis of how immense fortunes have been amassed throughout time. Such great acquisitions of wealtBuy the Book of Wealthh rarely happen by chance. Bancroft seeks to examine whether or not there is actually a science of getting rich. He did this by analysing how great wealth had been created, throughout recorded history. He takes an in depth look into some of the greatest wealth creators and their wealth building secrets. His theory being to follow the path of great wealth builders. Interestingly, Hubert Bancroft claims that the pursuit and anticipation of wealth is far more enjoyable than the actual attainment of it. He also questions how longing for wealth can possibly be a bad thing if it leads to enjoyment, power, independence and physical and intellectual well being. These statements appear to have been made from a personal perspective rather than from historical findings derived from researching The Book of Wealth.

The Book of Wealth and Hubert Howe Bancroft

Hubert Howe BancroftBancroft describes his analysis of wealth as: “An Inquiry into the Nature and Distribution of the World’s Resources and Riches, and a History of the Origin and Influence of Property, its Possession, Accumulation and Disposition in all Ages and among all Nations.” Hubert Howe Bancroft was a bibliophile, entrepreneur, historian and self made millionaire. If anyone understood wealth creators and the process of creating wealth, then Bancroft certainly did. If you wish to read more about Hubert Bancroft, “the man,” then Literary Industries” provides a better biographical insight. Bancroft’s love of books and history made him the prefect candidate to write such a magnum opus as The Book of Wealth.

The Book of Wealth and Controversy

There was some controversy surrounding Hubert Bancroft’s works. He employed many researchers and writers to help him with his vast publications. However, no due literary credit appears to have been afforded to them. Several of Bancroft’s former employees, including Henry Oak and Francis Fuller Victor, later claimed authorship for large sections of “The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft.” These works had been solely credited to him. This dispute inevitably undermined Hubert Bancroft’s literary status amongst his peers, much to his chagrin. Bancroft’s research was also questioned in the “Misrepresentations of early California history corrected: proceedings of the Society of California Pioneers.” This claims elements of misrepresentation in respect of  specific men and events in early Californian history. Many considered Bancroft’s works to reflect his and his researchers’ personal thoughts. It is not believed that any such allegations were documented in respect of the contents of  The Book of Wealth.

The Book of Wealth in the 21st Century

Along a similar vein to the Law of Attraction, The Book of Wealth is finding renewed fame in the 21st century as a means of modern wealth creation. Several well respected motivational speakers are referring to it in modern wealth attraction seminars. It is also being promoted in life coaching circles. However, it is fair to say that The Book of Wealth is not an easy read. It will take time and dedication to absorb and comprehend.

Buy The Book of Wealth, A significant and historical masterpiece.

Hubert Howe Bancroft – Author Or Editor?

Hubert Howe Bancroft

Hubert Howe Bancroft was an entrepreneur and an avid bibliophile who loved to read, admire and write books. As a book seller, this passion could perhaps be considered an occupational hazard. However, in Bancroft’s case, he took book collecting Hubert Howe Bancroft - Wasp Cover - 18 April 1885to the extreme. In 1905, when his library was sold to the University of California, it contained somewhere in the region of 60,000 rare books, manuscripts, maps, and transcripts. In addition to having the library named after him, Bancroft was also awarded a prestigious professorship of history.

It was this obsession for collecting historical material which eventually led him to become a celebrated author and publisher later in life. Nonetheless, Bancroft’s literary endeavours were not without their critics. Many considered his works to be indicative of his and his researchers’ personal thoughts as opposed to being a true reflection of the historical subject matter being covered. Furthermore, there was also a degree of cynicism over the true authorship of Hubert Bancroft’s books.

Hubert Howe Bancroft and His Assistants

Originally, Bancroft employed assistants with the sole intention of researching and organizing data. From this, statements of fact were to be produced which Bancroft proposed to use as the foundations of a narrative which he himself would write. As the works progressed though, he came to use the statements as they stood making only minor editorial amendments.

Bancroft argued that his assistants were perfectly competent and, as such, he did not need to re-write their submissions. On the face of it, this testament to the quality and substance of the researchers’ writing would have been perfectly acceptable had Bancroft properly acknowledged and credited the researchers for their respective contributions. In later years several of Bancroft’s former employees, including Henry Oak and Francis Fuller Victor, were to claim authorship for large sections of “The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft” that had been credited solely to Bancroft.

There is no doubting the historical significance of Hubert Howe Bancroft’s publications. However, whilst he considered himself to be the author of his books it is probably more accurate to suppose his input as being that of an editorial nature.

Editors’ Note:  The image used in this post is a satirical caricature of Hubert Howe Bancroft which appeared on the cover of The Wasp magazine on 18 April 1885. As Bancroft gazes up into the air, there are many hands furiously scribbling away in his writing book. This image is intended to represent the vast numbers of  researchers and assistant writers that Hubert Howe Bancroft employed. It was this, and possibly a tinge of envy, which placed the true authorship of his works into question.

Tegan Templeton EzineArticles Expert Author
Tegan Templeton EzineArticles Expert Author
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