One of the oddities of Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation is that almost the only modern writer he mentions is – not Burkhardt, not Norbert Elias (both of whom may have influenced his views) – but H.G.Wells, who is referred to for a distinction between ‘communities of obedience and communities of will’: ‘he thought that the first produced the stable societies like Egypt and Mesopotamia, the original homes of civilisation, and the second produced the restless nomads of the north’ (p.127). The second reference is to the fact that the ‘aggressive, nomadic societies – what he called communities of will – Israel, Islam, the Protestant North, conceived their gods as male’ (p.143). The third time he reveals that he knew him: ‘I remember H.G. Wells, who was a kind of twentieth-century Voltaire, saying that he daren’t drive a car in France, because the temptation to drive over a priest would be too strong for him’ (p.209). He met Wells at Sybille Colefax’s in the early 1930s, but the reference is presumably to The Outline of History, which was published in 1920, when Clark would have been seventeen, intellectually impressionable and sitting his scholarship exams for Oxford, when Wells’ intellectual theorising presumbly left its imprint.