A Child’s Guide to the Nations:


Dear parents, I offer this libellus in appreciation not only of the children but also of your own parental labors; yours is the great work of the age, for it creates the age to follow. In our modern times we enjoy the inestimable benefit of the accumulated knowledge of generations of scholarship, cataloged and winnowed until we approach as near to Historical Truth as may be gained by mortals. Alongside this pure Knowledge, and indeed intermingled with it in the minds of many, run threads of half-truths, mistaken legends, and outright fabrications on which are built the entertainments of our age. Through stage and story, book and ballad, our young people are filled up with mistaken notions of their own past, despite the best efforts of our best schools.

Against the driving drivel of doggerel, however, stands a mighty bastion: the home. There spends our youth the greater number of hours in a day. There stand the finest exemplars of wisdom and behavior; namely, yourselves, dear parents. There, indeed, are the best chances to impart the best lessons, to educate these little people sufficiently that they may themselves grow to distinguish between fact and fiction.

To that end I offer this book, that it may serve as a single arrow in the quiver of your tutelage. Wield it as you will. You may rest assured I have consulted the best minds in the Empire, have read all the greatest historians and philosophers. I have distilled their wide erudition into this single flask, from which the student may sip at leisure. It is free of national pride—dwarf, elf, ogre, gnome, human, fae—all may drink with the assurance the waters are as pure as modern scholarship can make them. Know that your children read this without risk of the taint of prejudice or party.

I remain your most humble servant, L. E. Hill.