HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Gibbon Edward

Published by London for W. [and] A. Strahan and T. Cadell 1783-1790, 1790
Hardcover
From Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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12 volumes. The very rare first octavo editions of the twelve books, and an extremely early printing of the work in any format. With an engraved portrait frontispiece and three impressive engraved folding maps. 8vo, in very handsome contemporary bindings of full polished calf, the spines extensively decorated incorporating lavish gilt panels divided into compartments separated by roll tooled bands decorated in a Greco-Roman style and with two lettering labels in contrasting red and green moroccos decorated and lettered in gilt, board edges with gilt roll tooling, with green silk ribbon page-markers bound in. xiv, 456; xv, 496; viii, 412; viii, 443; vii, 432; viii, 420; viii, 424; viii, 374; xii, 502; xii, 385; xii, 460; xi, 432, [96, cumulative index]. A very handsome set, fresh and near to pristine internally, the contemporary bindings in good order and in completely original state with no restoration or sophistication whatsoever, some volumes with weakening to some hinges and some with minor chipping or other mellowing to the spines, in all a very well preserved set of these rare books. A SIGNIFICANT AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT EDITION, THE FIRST IN OCTAVO, AND A VERY EARLY ISSUANCE IN ANY FORMAT OF THE GREATEST HISTORICAL WORK EVER UNDERTAKEN. The first edition of Gibbon’s work was printed over time, the first three volumes being printed between 1776 and 1781, the later three volumes in 1788. This first octavo edition was printed similarly, the first six volumes in 1783 and the later six in 1790. Thus, this is not only the first octavo edition but also is one of only a tiny handful of editions of the first half printed prior to the completion of the work in total. Like the first edition it contains the three folding maps and the engraved portrait of Gibbon in volume one. "For twenty-two years Gibbon was a prodigy of steady and arduous application. His investigations extended over almost the whole range of intellectual activity for nearly fifteen-hundred years. And so thorough were his methods that the laborious investigations of German scholarship, the keen criticisms of theological zeal, and the steady researches of (two) centuries have brought to light very few important errors in the results of his labors. But it is not merely the learning of his work, learned as it is, that gives it character as a history. It is also that ingenious skill by which the vast erudition, the boundless range, the infinite variety, and the gorgeous magnificence of the details are all wrought together in a symmetrical whole. It is still entitled to be esteemed as the greatest historical work ever written" (Adams, Manual of Historical Literature, pp. 146-147). Bookseller Inventory # 18428

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Bibliographic Details

Title: HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN...

Publisher: London for W. [and] A. Strahan and T. Cadell 1783-1790

Publication Date: 1790

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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Buddenbrooks has one of the finest selections of fine and rare books in several fields and we invite you to visit us at our new premises in Newburyport, Massachusetts where have an open "brick and mortar" bookshop. We are also available to meet with clients in Boston by appointment only, where we have maintained a presence for over 40 years. We offer a search service for any books, old or new, which you may have been unable to find. Please call for further information, we look forward to hearing from you.

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