Edward Gibbon


Edward Gibbon Quotes

  • ''The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. Published in Routledge, Autobiography, p. 98 (1971). Memoirs of My Life (1796).
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  • ''Truth, naked, unblushing truth, the first virtue of all serious history, must be the sole recommendation of this personal narrative.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. repr. As Autobiography (1971). Memoirs of my Life, introduction (1796).
  • ''It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mould, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. Published in Routledge, Autobiography, p. 103 (1971). Memoirs of My Life (1796).
  • ''I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. Memoirs of my Life, p. 55 (1796), published as Autobiography, Routledge (1971). Of his father's refusal to accept Gibbon's attachment to Suzanne Curchod, daughter of a pastor in Lausanne.
  • ''Crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. Memoirs of My Life, ch. 5 (1796), published as Autobiography, Routledge (1971).
  • ''My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. Memoirs of My Life, ch. 8 (1796), published in "World's Classics," p .212, as Autobiography. Sometimes misquoted as "decent obscurity," following the parody in The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine of the time.
  • ''The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. Memoirs of My Life, p. 98 (1796, repr. 1971).
  • ''My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. Published in World's Classics as Autobiography. Memoirs of My Life (1796). This has also been misquoted with the phrase "decent obscurity," following a parody in The Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine of the time.
  • ''Style is the image of character.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. repr. As Autobiography (1971). Memoirs of my Life, introduction (1796).
  • ''History ... is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.''
    Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), British historian. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 3 (1776-1788).

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