"Through this work I obtained a cursory knowledge of history, and a view of the several empires"

The Ruins, or a Survey of the Revolutions of Empires (1792) by French orientalist Constantin François de Chassebœuf, who called himself 'Volney', was partly a travelogue of his trips to several eastern nations, and partly an account of their ancient history.  Upholding libertarian values, the book imagines a coming revolution in which all world religions join as one, throwing off the shackles of tyranny and forming a utopian world government.  Like the rest of the creature's library, the book gives his education a decidedly radical, Romantic bent (See note to page 103).