Edward Gibbon and Lausanne
5 May 2023
Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) spent more than a third of his life in Lausanne, first for his education during the 1750s (following a stint at Magdalen College, Oxford); then in the early 1760s on a stopover on his way to Rome; and finally throughout the 1780s and early 1790s, when he was already the celebrated author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Recent discoveries in private archives allow for a much richer understanding of his encounter with Lausanne and his engagement with local debates, scholarly and political.
The reconstruction (in the French language) of Gibbon’s Swiss experience sheds, in turn, new light on the variety and intensity of Lausanne’s cultural life, explaining why the city came to be known in the following century as the ‘la ville de Gibbon’.
B. Kapossy, B. Lovis (Réd.), Edward Gibbon et Lausanne. Le Pays de Vaud à la rencontre des lumières européennes Lausanne 2022