Edward Gibbon

1737 (London) – 1794 (London)

Diderot, Voltaire, d’Alembert and Helvétius were among Gibbon’s French ‘philosophe’ friends, regular attenders of d’Holbach’s salon, an influential meeting-place for intellectual free-thinkers. Hume and Smith (also attenders at d’Holbach’s) were among his Scottish enlightenment friends, as was Ferguson, whom he wrote to praising Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations.’ Garrick was close to him. Boswell was (literally) sniffy about Gibbon’s personal cleanliness following his election to Johnson’s London literary club.