The Book of Wealth is a much sought-after book written by Hubert Howe Bancroft, the first volume was published in 1896. The book details the wealth of historic figures and dynasties dating from ancient times up to 1896.  It was written to be the companion book to The Book of the Fair and took about six years to complete.

It is 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, as a factor in human accomplishment, an agency of human refinement, and in the evolution of civilization from the earliest to the present era.  The focus of the book is a study of wealth in relation to material and intellectual progress and achievement.

This is an OCR (optical character recognition) version of the physical book. The original books were 17" x 22", bound in heavy golden silk, lined with white decorative fabric, and contain about 3,000 images consisting of original watercolors and engravings.  The book also contained 100 paintings by popular artist such as Thomas Moran, G. H. McCord, W. Granville Smith, C. Y. Turner, C. A. Vanderhoff, E. Benvenuto. The cover of each section of the first edition displayed an original water-color by a well-known artist. 

This ebook does not contain any of the images that were included in the physical books.

The books are divided into ten volumes (sections) and twenty-nine chapters.  The book starts by detailing the nations of antiquity, starting with the oldest, and then moving to the next, and the next, until it finishes with the United States. 

The chapters are divided as follows:

1. Chaldea, Babylonia, Assyria, Persia
2. Egypt, Phoenicia
3. Palestine, Arabia
4. India, China, Japan
5. Central and Southeastern Asia
6. Greece
7. Italy
8. Spain, Portugal
9. The Turkish Empire
10. France, Switzerland
11. Belgium, Holland
12. The Austro-Hungarian Empire
13. Germany
14. Denmark, Norway, Sweden
15. Russia
16. Great Britain and Ireland
17. Africa
18. Australia, The Hawaiian Islands
19. South America
20. Central America, West India Islands
21. Mexico
22. Canada
23. Pacific United States
24. Rocky Mountain States
25. Midcontinent States
26. Southern States
27. Central Lake States
28. New England States
29. Middle Atlantic States

There is also a section on art and architecture that is divided as follows:

1. The Wealth of Art and the Art of Wealth
2. Origin, Scope, and Development of Art
3. Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia
4. India, China, and Japan
5. Classic Era—Greece
6. The Classic Era—Italy
7. Early Christian and Byzantine Period
8. Islam and Its Monuments
9. The Romanesque and the Gothic

The present volume of the Native Races of the Pacific States treats of monumental arch¾ology, and is intended to present a detailed description of all material relics of the past discovered within the territory under consideration. Two chapters, however, are devoted to a more general view of remains outside the limits of this territoryÑthose of South America and of the eastern United StatesÑas being illustrative of, and of inseparable interest in connection with, my subject proper. Since monumental remains in the western continent without the broad limits thus included are comparatively few and unimportant, I may without exaggeration, if the execution of the work be in any degree commensurate with its aim, claim for this treatise a place among the most complete ever published on American antiquities as a whole. Indeed, Mr Baldwin's most excellent little book on Ancient America is the only comprehensive work treating of this subject now before the public. As a popular treatise, compressing within a small duodecimo volume the whole subject of arch¾ology, including, besides material relics, tradition, and speculation concerning origin and history as well, this book cannot be too highly praised; I propose, however, by devoting a large octavo volume to one half or less of Mr Baldwin's subject-matter, to add at least encyclopedic value to this division of my work. There are some departments of the present subject in which I can hardly hope to improve upon or even to equal descriptions already extant. Such are the ruins of Yucatan, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, so ably treated by Messrs Stephens, Catherwood, and Squier. Indeed, not a few relics of great importance are known to the world only through the pen or pencil of one or another of these gentlemen, in which cases I am forced to draw somewhat largely upon the result of their investigations. Yet even within the territory mentioned, concerning Uxmal and Chichen Itza we have most valuable details in the works of M. M. Waldeck and Charnay; at Quirigua, Dr Scherzer's labors are no less satisfactory than those of Mr Catherwood; and Mr Squier's careful observations in Nicaragua are supplemented, to the advantage of the antiquarian public, by the scarcely less extensive investigations of Mr Boyle. In the case of Palenque, in some respects the most remarkable American ruin, we have, besides the exhaustive delineations of Waldeck and Stephens, several others scarcely less satisfactory or interesting from the pens of competent observers; and in a large majority of instances each locality, if not each separate relic, has been described from personal examination by several parties, each noting some particulars by the others neglected.Ê
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