Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. The Decline and Fall is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open denigration of organised religion.
"Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book."
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."