A Blupete Biography Page


Edward Gibbon
(1737-94)

He was the son of an English country gentleman and was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford; and, as Chamber's points out, "he derived little benefit from either." After schooling in Lausanne, Switzerland (during which time he was to fall in love with the parson's daughter, and to which his father put a quick end) the young Gibbon returned to London where he took up residence in his father's household and found the leisure for scholarly study and bookish solitude.

Gibbon's cynicism, in regards to history, viz. "little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind" added "a spice to the work which relates it to literature rather than history. His accuracy in the use of his sources has not been questioned." (Chamber's.) Gibbon's major work, of course was his multi-volumed The History of the Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire written through the years, 1776 to 1787 and is the standard history on the Roman civilization. Gibbon was to write an autobiography.

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QUOTES

History
>> History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.

Revolution
>> ... our tranquillity has been clouded by the disorders in France ... the revolution, or rather the dissolution of the kingdom, has been heard and felt in the adjacent lands. I beg leave to subscribe my assent to
Mr. Burke's creed on the revolution of France. I admire his eloquence, I approve his politics, I adore his chivalry, and I can almost excuse his reverence for church establishments. [However, we] should mutually acknowledge the danger of exposing an old superstition [viz. we are all equal] to the contempt of the blind and fanatic multitude. ... The fanatic missionaries of sedition have scattered the seeds of discontent in our cities and villages ... [the people are] infected with the Gallic frenzy, the wild theories of equal and boundless freedom. (Autobio.)

Rich Man
>> [A rich man is one] whose income is superior to his expense, and his expense equal to his wishes. (Autobio.)

Writing
>> The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise. (1796)

Youth
>> ... it is the peculiar felicity of youth that the most unpleasing objects and events seldom make a deep or lasting impression; it forgets the past, enjoys the present, and anticipates the future. (Autobio.)

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Peter Landry