A Vindication of Some PassagesGIBBON, Edward
London: Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, in the Strand. 1779.
First edition. 8vo in 4s (225x140mm). pp. (4), 158, [2, one page advertisement for the 3rd edition of volume one of Decline and Fall]. Original pale blue paper wrappers with some wear and loss to the backstrip as expected. Contents are in excellent condition, edges uncut. Some leaves unopened. There are tears to the top edge of some leaves, caused during opening (but no loss to any text). Protected by a brown cloth slip case with the arms of Kennet of the Dene on the front.
Gibbon had been criticised for his attacks on Christianity in chapters fifteen and sixteen of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The most scathing attack came from a priest, Henry Edwards Davis in his “An Examination of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Chapters of Mr. Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” published in 1778. Gibbon’s reply, in the form of this Vindication, was a robust defence of his work against Davis’s “criminal accusations”.