Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon, Esquire. With Memoirs of His Life and Writings, Composed by Himself: Illustrated from His Letters, with Occasional Notes and Narrative, By John Lord Sheffield.
London. Printed for A. Strahan, and T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies (Successors to Mr. Cadell) in the Strand. 1796. 4to, 28.5cm, The First Edition in 2 volumes, XXV,(Errata),703, & viii,726,(Errata and publishers' ads.), in contemporary full diced calf boards, panelled with gilt rosettes borders, expertly reback in calf with gilt decorated raised bands, gilt decorations and borders in the panels, gilt titles, gilt roll inner dentelles, original marbled endpapers and edges, inner linen hinges, ownership signature on titles ("John Jefferys 1811") and armorial bookplate "William Henry Smith" on the front paste-down endpaper, frontis silhouette portrait in volume one, some occasional light unobtrusive damp staining in the text, some occasional wear on the boards, a fine set (ds1). Item #41318
~ This is an invaluable autobiography of the controversial historian, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788). Editor John Baker-Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield (1735-1821), Gibbon's close friend and literary executor, remarks in the preface: "Few men have ever so fully unveiled their own character, by a minute narrative of their sentiments and pursuits with a genuine confession of his little foibles and peculiarities, and a good-humoured and natural display of his own conduct and opinions." These memoirs are most interesting for Gibbon's reflections on the development of his 'History,' which sparked so much outrage from the public and the Church relative to its historical treatment of Christianity. They are also rich in commentary about his contemporaries, and the political regimes in England and Revolutionary France. The two volumes are the first editions; a third volume was published separately in 1815 by John Murray.