#RetroHugos1941 A Million Years to Conquer, by Henry Kuttner

One of the less obscure novels of 1940, this concerns a survivor of a dying extraterrestrial race who comes to Earth and superintends the development of human civilzation over the millennia. There's a nice flashback technique between the world of today and the historical set-up, but it's a truly pulpy set of concepts, mishmashed together a bit chaotically. Those who are fans of Kuttner's work in general may be a bit more sympathetic to it than I am. 

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