GIBBON, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire … A New Edition [vol. II-III The Second Edition].

Regular price
£7,250.00
Sale price
£7,250.00
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

GIBBON, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire … A New Edition [vol. II-III The Second Edition]. London, Printed for A. and W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1781-88.

Six volumes, 4to. Contemporary tree calf, all volumes, neatly rebacked in the middle of the 20th century with endpapers renewed, red morocco lettering-pieces, ornamented in gilt; engraved portrait after Reynolds, 2 large folding engraved maps and a smaller map, all by Thomas Kitchin; a little wear to boards, only very occasionally minimal toning or spotting; a very good, clean set.
Early editions of Volumes 1-3, first editions of Volumes 4-6. The most celebrated historical work in English literature. "Gibbon's great erudition, breadth of treatment, and powerful organization render this a lasting monument, of substantial accuracy as well as elegance ... most of Gibbon's scholarship remains unchallenged." (Oxford Companion to English Lit.). 'This masterpiece pf historical penetration and literary style has remained one of the ageless historical works' (PMM 222). In 1788 Gibbon's friend Adam Smith wrote that 'by the universal assent of every man of taste and learning. [Decline and Fall] sets you at the very head of the whole literary tribe at present existing in Europe' (ODNB). By explaining the role Christianity played in 'weakening' the Roman Empire Gibbon's opus magnum landed on the Papal Index and remained there until the Index librorum prohibitorum was abolished in 1966.
Collation: Volume one without half-title (probably not issued) and without errata found for other volumes.
Provenance: Pictorial bookplates Maria Therese and Stephen Bardos inside front covers. Later sold by Sotherans (small stamps in the margins of front fly-leaves).

#2119671