The text is an interpretation of, and a commentary on, Hume’s self-presentation given in his autobiography, My Own Life, which he wrote shortly before his death. In the first section, the discussion aims at pointing out a hidden biographical and contemporary background, including the events of Hume’s life suppressed from the autobiography (the unsuccessful attempts to gain a professorship, Hume’s dispute with Rousseau). Some reactions to Hume’s death are also discussed. In the final section, the self-image offered by Hume is discussed in relation to the interpretation of the standpoint and style in the work of man of letters in the 18th century as advanced by James Harris and Lorrain Daston. The result of this analysis is to show that the question of Hume’s vanity is to a large degree an artificial problem arising from a misunderstanding of the context to which Hume, as a man of letters, belonged.