Edward Gibbon: Memoirs of My Life

(1410 words)

Edward Gibbon’s Memoirs of My Life, popularly known as his Autobiography, was the first extended autobiography by a prominent Englishman to be printed and widely disseminated within a few years of his death. After completing the sixth and final volume of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1789), the monumental work that made him famous, Gibbon began to write the story of his life. However, Gibbon himself did not produce a unified text of the autobiography; instead, he left at his death in 1794 six distinct autobiographical fragments, which were consolidated into a single narrative by his friend, John Holroyd, Earl of Sheffield, and incorporated into the Miscellaneous Works …

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Machann, Clinton John. "Memoirs of My Life". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9796, accessed 02 December 2015.]