London: Printed for Lackington, Harding, Hughes, Mavor, and Jones [et al.], 1820. [Late Antiquity] EARLY EDITION IN PUBLISHER'S BOARDS. Complete in twelve volumes. Octavo (24 x 15 x 40cm). With an engraved portrait of the author to volume I, and two large folding maps. Original publisher's quarter cream paper over spines, with paper title labels showing a price of £4 10s, and blue paper over boards. All edges untrimmed. Rarely found thus. A pair of ink ownerships to front pastedown of volume I, with an invitation to a lunch meeting with Henry Kissinger at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London 1966, loosely inserted. The usual small tears to map joins, and a little spotting to maps. Very occasional pencil annotation, otherwise crisp and clean internally. Boards bumped and rubbed, some with old tape and tape burns along the edges. Spines bumped, rubbed and browned with some pulling to heads and tails. A rare survival in the original boards. Very good. Originally published sequentially in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall' is universally acknowledged as a historiographical and literary giant of the English language. It has been read by historians of Rome and Byzantium ever since publication, though Gibbon's pessimistic attitude is currently unfashionable amongst scholars of Late Antiquity. Nevertheless, the breadth of his coverage and the depth of his knowledge remains unrivalled. Item #53517
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