Title An Essay on the Study of Literature. Written Originally in French, By Edward Gibbon, Jun. Esq; Now first translated into English.
Publisher Printed for T. Becket and P. A. De Hondt. London. 1764
Seller ID 7777
First edition in English of Gibbon's first work. 8vo. , 168pp. including 4pp. of publishers' list of books. Early nineteenth century engr. portrait of Gibbon very neatly attached to blank opposite title page and gives the appearance of portrait frontis. Two original blanks bound in before title page. Bound in contemporary full brown calf gilt, rebacked with original spine laid down, top compartment and part of bottom compartment replaced in modern calf, inner hinges reinforced, new e/ps. Corners of bds. worn. Marbled edges and e/ps. Outer margin sl. cropped, pages measure 18.4 x 11.2cm. Additional frontis. lightly offset to title. Contents remarkably fresh and clean. Norton 6. Though originally published in French in 1761, Gibbon wrote most of this essay in 1758 while only 21. The translator has never been identified but was probably a professional hired by Becket. Gibbon was not happy with it though it was advertised as being prepared 'under the inspection of the author'. He states, "had my feelings been more exquisite, I might have wept over its blunders and baldness." Also from his journal, January 11th, 1763. " From thence I went to Becket, paid him his bill (fifty-four pounds) and gave him back his translation. It must be printed, tho' very indifferent. My comfort is, that my misfortune is not an uncommon one." One of the 'best' mistakes, quoted by Norton, is the rendering of "si la physique a ses Buffons" by "if Physics hath its buffoons."
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS and SOCIETY 18th century Gibbon