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. He 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 wealth 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
Bancroft 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.