Surely one of the pithiest, funniest and most ebulliently floor-wiping book criticisms in the history of scribbling and patronage. All those long days and late nights scratching away with a quill on blotchy parchment so you can present your king with a glorious door-stopper of world history.
This always makes me laugh, but then it wasn’t my book that got the royal floor-wipe.
‘Another big fat book! Scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr Gibbon?’,
Source: George III on Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, quoted in Friends in High Places: Who Runs Britain?, Jeremy Paxman (Penguin, 1990), p. 69