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Edward Gibbon

Essai sur l'étude de la littérature

Editorial Note

Note editoriali

Editorial note | Sheffield's Introduction | M. Maty, Avis au Lecteur - À l'Auteur
Paragraphs I-XIV)
| Paragraphs XV-XLVIII) | Paragraphs XLIX-LXXXIII and Conclusion)
From the Autobiography of Edward Gibbon

Text and pagination are drawn from: The Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon Esq. With Memoirs of his Life and Writings, composed by Himself, illustrated from his Letters, with Occasional Narrative, by the Right Honourable John, Lord Sheffield. A New Edition with considerable Additions, in Five volumes, London, printed for John Murray, 1814, 5 vols, vol. IV, pp. 1-93.

In the «Advertisement to the First Edition» Sheffield underlines that his edition of the text of the Essai has been made «with corrections and additions from an interleaved copy which my Friend gave me several years ago» (vol. I, p. xix, above mentioned edition). For the footnotes — all by Gibbon (Sheffield marks his own notes by an (S)) — we have decided, for convenience purpose, to transform the original footnotes in endnotes and all the different symbols used in Sheffield's edition in progressive arabic numerals in parentheses. From these latter must be distinguished numerals in brackets and in bold characters, which indicate original pagination. Citations in the endnotes are in the abbreviated forms used by Gibbon. The text is introduced by editorial materials on the Essai inserted by Sheffield at the opening of vol. IV of theMiscellaneous Works.

We have corrected according to modern usage some occasional misprints. Only misspellings and French accents have been always reproduced according to the text of Sheffield edition. Greek words have been translittered. Each paragraph, marked at its beginning by a Roman numeral, is preceded by the short title (in brackets) put in the margin of the page in Sheffield edition.

For Gibbon's own account of the birth of this writing of his, its purpose and value, see our abstract from Autobiography of Edward Gibbon as originally edited by Lord Sheffield, with an Introduction by J. B. Bury (Oxford , s. d.), pp. 95-101.