GIBBON, Edward (1737-1794). Historian.
Document Signed with autograph annotation, 1 page 8vo (oblong, neatly inlaid), [Lausanne], 1 January 1796. A bill made out to Gibbon by one Gilliard, and passed by him to his bankersBon pour £119.13 sur quittance generale'. A receipt from Gilliard dated 1 February 1786 is to the left of Gibbon's note.
The bill is for fine linens purchased by Gibbon for Madame Faure, and for a small sum paid to the sewing-maid.
In 1783 Gibbon, in somewhat straitened circumstances, had decided to leave England and to live with his old friend George Deyverdun in Lausanne, where he had previously stayed from 1753 to 1758. Although the principal object was to save money he did not necessarily find it as easy as he may have expected:This is not by any means a cheap Country; and, except in the article of wine, I could give a dinner or make a coat, perhaps for the same price in London as at Lausanne. My chief advantage arises from the things which I do not want; and in some respects my style of living is enlarged by the encrease of my relative importance. Here I am expected to return entertainments, to receive Ladies, etc. and to perform many duties of society, which, though agreeable enough in themselves, contibute to inflame a Housekeeper's bills. [Letter to Lord Sheffield, quoted in The letters of Edward Gibbon, edited by Rowland E. Prothero, 1896, Vol. II, page 125.]
The self-imposed exile was, however, crowned with success in the completion of volumes four to six of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which he triumphantly concluded on the night of 27 June 1787.
Provenance: from a collection formed by A.M. Broadley in 1903.
The image links to a larger or more detailed version.