Title Essai Sur L-Étude de la Littérature.
Publisher T. Becket & P.A. De Hondt. London. 1761
Seller ID 7778
First edition of the authors first book. 8vo. xxxii, 159pp. All original blank leaves present, two before the title and four after last leaf that has text. "From the Author" in Gibbon's own hand to blank opposite title page. This has offset lightly to title page. Bound in contemporary full brown speckled calf, worn at extremities, rebacked with original spine laid down. Original spine darkened as if scorched. Outer margins of e/ps. and title browned, some occ. foxing. Inner hinge visible but sound. The whole contained in a purpose made clam-shell marbled box with leather lettering piece. Norton 1. Though not published until 1761, Gibbon wrote this first work, in French, in 1758 when he was 21. He let Dr. Maty of the British Museum read it and on gaining approval revised and completed it in 1759. It was only published due to his fathers urging. The dedication to his father is both sincere and touching. The book, mostly due to being written in French, was more successful abroad than in England. The publishers covered the costs of producing the book and took the profits, Gibbon retained the copyright and received a number of free copies. According to Norton 42 copies were made available to Gibbon. 21 copies were presented by the author to several eminent characters in England and France, one was presented to the Duke of York and 20 were given by the author to his friends in Lausanne. This copy is one of these 42.
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS and SOCIETY 18th century Gibbon