22 June 2010
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
GIBBON, Edward (1737-1794). The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell (vols. I-III), for A. Strahan and T. Cadell (vols. IV-VI), 1776-1888.
6 volumes, 4o (278 x 214 mm). Half titles, errata (in vols. I, II, III and VI, as called for) engraved portrait frontispiece of Gibbon in vol. I (not vol. II as originally issued), 3 folding engraved maps. (Intermittent spotting in some volumes, small tear to fold of map, tear to leaf Mm in vol. II repaired.) Contemporary marbled calf (rebacked, rubbed, upper cover detached on vol. I, repair with tape to head of spine in vol. II).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE of Volume I, and FIRST EDITIONS of all subsequent volumes, with all the required cancels. Volume I in first state with all cancelled leaves also includes original contents as well as expanded contents originally issued with Volume II. Volume III includes p. 177 numbered correctly and the "honorious" misprint on p. 179. "This masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style has remained one of the ageless historical works....Whereas other eighteenth-century writers in this field, such as Voltaire...are still quoted with respect, the Decline and Fall is the only historical narrative prior to Macaulay which continues to be reprinted and actually read" (PMM). Grolier English 58; Norton 20, 23, 29; PMM 222; Rothschild 942-944. (6)
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