FIRST EDITION OF GIBBON’S MISCELLANEOUS WORKS
GIBBON, Edward. 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, 1796. Two volumes. Quarto, contemporary full speckled calf rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spines laid down, red and green morocco spine labels, original marbled endpapers. $2000.
First edition of Gibbon’s memoirs, letters, and additional works, posthumously collected and published by his closest friend, Lord Sheffield.
When Gibbon died in 1794, he left his personal papers to Lord Sheffield, who carefully selected and edited them to ensure that his friend would not be unflatteringly exposed to public scrutiny. While Sheffield later published an expanded edition of Gibbon’s letters and memoirs, his concern for his friend’s privacy persisted throughout his life and he forbid, in his will, the publication of any additional papers. He writes in his preface to the Miscellaneous Works, “Few men, I believe, have ever so fully unveiled their own character, by a minute narrative of their sentiments and pursuits, as Mr. Gibbon will here be found to have done; not with study and labour-not with an affected frankness-but with a genuine confession of his little foibles and peculiarities, and a good-humoured and natural display of his own conduct and opinions.” Norton, 131. Library book labels.
Occasional scattered light foxing to interiors. Expert restoration to extremities. A handsome copy in beautiful contemporary calf.