"We improve ourselves by victories over ourself. There must be contests, and you must win": The Works of Edward Gibbon; One of 73 Numbered Sets; Finely Bound
The Works of Edward Gibbon, Including The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Item Number: 98478
New York: Fred Defau & Company, 1906.
The Complete Works of Edward Gibbon, one of numbered 73 sets, this is number 7. Octavo, 15 volumes, bound in full dark blue levant morocco, inlaid red tulips at the corners of boards and center of each spine, raised bands, gilt titles to the spine, brown morocco doublures and watered silk flyleaves, binding by MacDonald, plates in three states: photogravure colored, on India paper, and printed on velin. In fine condition. An exceptional set, most rare and desirable.
"This masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style has remained one of the ageless historical works Gibbon brought a width of vision and a critical mastery of the available sources which have not been equalled to this day; and the result was clothed in inimitable prose" (PMM 222). "For 22 years Gibbon was a prodigy of steady and arduous application. His investigations extended over almost the whole range of intellectual activity for nearly 1500 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, 146-7).