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 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.
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