Memoirs of My Life

  • Title: Memoirs of My Life
  • Author: Edward Gibbon Betty Radice
  • ISBN: 9780140432176
  • Page: 474
  • Format: Paperback
  • Memoirs of My Life Edward Gibbon was one of the world s greatest historians and a towering figure of his age When he died in he left behind the unfinished drafts of his Memoirs which were posthumously edited by hi
    Edward Gibbon was one of the world s greatest historians and a towering figure of his age When he died in 1794 he left behind the unfinished drafts of his Memoirs, which were posthumously edited by his friend Lord Sheffield, and remain an astonishing portrait of a rich, full life Recounting Gibbon s sickly childhood in London, his disappointment with an Oxford steeped inEdward Gibbon was one of the world s greatest historians and a towering figure of his age When he died in 1794 he left behind the unfinished drafts of his Memoirs, which were posthumously edited by his friend Lord Sheffield, and remain an astonishing portrait of a rich, full life Recounting Gibbon s sickly childhood in London, his disappointment with an Oxford steeped in port and prejudice , his successful years in Lausanne, his first and only love affair and the monolithic achievement of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he distils his genius for history into a remarkable gift for autobiography Candid and detailed, these writings are filled with warmth and intellectual passion.

    • î Memoirs of My Life || ✓ PDF Read by ↠ Edward Gibbon Betty Radice
      474 Edward Gibbon Betty Radice
    • thumbnail Title: î Memoirs of My Life || ✓ PDF Read by ↠ Edward Gibbon Betty Radice
      Posted by:Edward Gibbon Betty Radice
      Published :2019-09-19T06:31:50+00:00

    About Edward Gibbon Betty Radice


    1. Edward Gibbon 8 May 1737 16 January 1794 was an English historian and Member of Parliament His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788 The Decline and Fall is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open criticism of organised religion.Gibbon returned to England in June 1765 His father died in 1770, and after tending to the estate, which was by no means in good condition, there remained quite enough for Gibbon to settle fashionably in London at 7 Bentinck Street, independent of financial concerns By February 1773, he was writing in earnest, but not without the occasional self imposed distraction He took to London society quite easily, joined the better social clubs, including Dr Johnson s Literary Club, and looked in from time to time on his friend Holroyd in Sussex He succeeded Oliver Goldsmith at the Royal Academy as professor in ancient history honorary but prestigious In late 1774, he was initiated a freemason of the Premier Grand Lodge of England And, perhaps least productively in that same year, he was returned to the House of Commons for Liskeard, Cornwall through the intervention of his relative and patron, Edward Eliot He became the archetypal back bencher, benignly mute and indifferent, his support of the Whig ministry invariably automatic Gibbon s indolence in that position, perhaps fully intentional, subtracted little from the progress of his writing.After several rewrites, with Gibbon often tempted to throw away the labours of seven years, the first volume of what would become his life s major achievement, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published on 17 February 1776 Through 1777, the reading public eagerly consumed three editions for which Gibbon was rewarded handsomely two thirds of the profits amounting to approximately 1,000 Biographer Leslie Stephen wrote that thereafter, His fame was as rapid as it has been lasting And as regards this first volume, Some warm praise from David Hume overpaid the labour of ten years Volumes II and III appeared on 1 March 1781, eventually rising to a level with the previous volume in general esteem Volume IV was finished in June 1784 the final two were completed during a second Lausanne sojourn September 1783 to August 1787 where Gibbon reunited with his friend Deyverdun in leisurely comfort By early 1787, he was straining for the goal and with great relief the project was finished in June Gibbon later wrote It was on the day, or rather the night, of 27 June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page in a summer house in my garden I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and perhaps the establishment of my fame But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind by the idea that I had taken my everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that, whatsoever might be the future date of my history, the life of the historian must be short and precarious.Volumes IV, V, and VI finally reached the press in May 1788, their publication having been delayed since March so it could coincide with a dinner party celebrating Gibbon s 51st birthday the 8th Mounting a bandwagon of praise for the later volumes were such contemporary luminaries as Adam Smith, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson, Lord Camden, and Horace Walpole Smith remarked that Gibbon s triumph had positioned him at the very head of Europe s literary tribe.


    558 Comments


    1. "The present is a fleeting moment, the past is no more; and our prospect of futurity is dark and doubtful."-- Edward Gibbon, Memoirs of My LifeAfter Brexit and my country's own recent crazy election, I was tempted to once again read Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I first read all 3,589 pages of Gibbon's fantastic history over five years ago in 2011. I decided to put off my re-read of Gibbon's masterpiece and instead read his 'Memoirs'. I am glad I did. This is one of those un [...]

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    2. Re-reading this has primed me for some more Austen. For six months Persuasion has been a brick in my bedside to-read tower, and at no point of that time have I found myself in the mood to read the novel. I’m in the mood now. In the lofty ironic style with which he traced the dissipation of Roman dynasties and the dispersion of Roman power, Gibbon recounts the household anxieties – and squalors and disasters – of three generations of precarious English gentry. There’s a general background [...]

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    3. By this point, I am much too enamored of Mr. Gibbon to be an impartial judge. I read his work with an almost religious awe. Indeed, Gibbon’s temper is almost that of a sage: not in his kindness or goodness, but in his calm curiosity.It is a truism of psychology that negative experiences make more lasting impressions than positive ones; a man can remember perfectly the last fight with his wife, but not their last shared laugh. Thus, much daily cheerfulness is merely the result of a willful igno [...]

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    4. What's not to love about a man who writes this well, even when he's not really trying, and gets more upset about intellectual arguments than he does about a faltering love life? Nothing not to love. Gibbon's life wasn't particularly eventful, but this prose would drag me through even a contemporary, 'trauma' filled memoir. Along the way he takes moderate shots at the university system, olde time religione, and the French. A very pleasant way to spend a few hours, in short. Particularly worth rea [...]

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    5. The next time someone asks me which writers I would ask to dinner, Gibbon will be on the list. Such delicious, sly wit, such erudition, such intellectual commitment combined with reserve about fate.I think it would help to have read at least some of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire before reading this. His hapless childhood and minimal formal education make the late start and autodidactic foundation of his magnum opus all the more amazing if you have experienced the perfect prose and det [...]

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    6. Edward Gibbon's short and entertaining autobiography, telling the story of his life and of how he wrote the Decline and Fall. The two chapters in which Gibbon describes the completion, publication and reception of the Decline and Fall ought to be essential reading for anyone planning a writing career. In particular, his reflections on completing the twenty-year project are poignant:'It was on the night of the 27th of June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last line o [...]

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    7. One cannot ask for a greater inadvertent epilogue to the unabridged Decline & Fall. Though I planned to spend the day and evening reading this nice little navy blue Oxford hardcover without worrying about note taking or unleashing a distant maze of tabs concerning notes on notes on notes on notes, I could not help but transcribe five particular quotations into my Moroccan Book of Epigraphs. 'A time it was, and what a time it was'

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    8. This is a fine autobiography, and probably of some interest if you're reading Decline and Fall, since it sheds some interesting light on Gibbon's intellectual development and unique life story and how he came to write his masterpiece.

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    9. Most famous line? Ordered by his father to abandon his One True Love, Gibbon says, "I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son." The World's Greatest Historian was not altogether like you and me. Of course that may help explain why we are not the World's Greatest Historians.

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    10. Autobiography of a nerdy scholastic and lifelong bachelor. I wish it had more details of everyday life in the 18th Century. I have not read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire but I'm now putting it on my reading list.

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    11. The last third or so of this book was just wonderful. The first two thirds are taken up with family history and correcting the record about Gibbon's dalliance with Roman Catholicism. I found myself reading a few pages and then finding other things to do. But then he gets to his Roman history, backbenching in Parliament, and retirement to Lausanne, and the prose (which had been a delight throughout) finally had a reason for being. This is not a book of great wisdom or even deep insight (into ones [...]

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    12. As Gibbon related, "a sincere and simple narrative of my own life may amuse some of my leisure hours, but it will subject me, and perhaps with justice, to the imputation of vanity." But far from vanity, Gibbon, engages his readers in what only can be described as a hand to mouth life until after his "History of the Decline" which won him both fame and fortune. It becomes clear what the world would be like if FDR had not provided Social Security, and how Gibbon was not able to beget children due [...]

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    13. Remarkable person who was almost entirely self educated. Great insights into how to educate yourself in the Roman and Greek classics and how intellectuals in the neoclassical era interacted and developed.

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    14. This guy is a genius for sure. Really enjoyed reading this.

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    15. Read this in college in a seminar on the history of how history has been studied and historiography. Of all the classes I took in college, this was one of the best. I still have a copy.

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    16. Entertaining, very quotable, probably irrelevant to anyone who has not read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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