"the modern historians from Gibbon to Buckle"
Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) wrote The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a six-volume work known both for its fine, entertaining prose and its criticism of organised religion. Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-1862) wrote an enormous, unfinished History of Civilisation, which occupied him for seventeen years; each day he spent ten hours at his desk. Buckle travelled widely, advised to do so for the sake of his health. He died in Damascus, where he is buried next to Countess Talaki, an admirer of his work. She happened to write that she was reading his History and would like to be buried beside him, and as she also died in Damascus this wish was granted.