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 7776
First edition in English of Gibbon's first work. 8vo. , 168pp. including 4pp. of publishers' list of books. Uncut. 18cm x 11.9cm. Original blank leaves, one before title page and one after p168 present. Bound in contemporary full calf gilt, rebacked with modern speckled calf spine, raised bands, contrasting leather lettering piece. Bds. sl. worn and soiled. Marbled e/ps., hinges reinforced. Light browning to outer margins of prelims, a close 2mm tear in margin of title page + one other close 4mm tear to margin of pp.111/112, lower corner missing from pp.49/50 without any loss of text. The contents are remarkably clean and fresh. 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