Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

Charles BABBAGE (1791 - 1871)

Some men write their lives to save themselves from ennui, careless of the amount they inflict on their readers. Others write their personal history, lest some kind friend should survive them, and, in showing off his own talent, unwittingly show them up. Others, again, write their own life from a different motive—from fear that the vampires of literature might make it their prey. I have frequently had applications to write my life, both from my countrymen and from foreigners. Some caterers for the public offered to pay me for it. Others required that I should pay them for its insertion; others offered to insert it without charge. One proposed to give me a quarter of a column gratis, and as many additional lines of eloge as I chose to write and pay for at ten-pence per line. To many of these I sent a list of my works, with the remark that they formed the best life of an author; but nobody cared to insert them. I have no desire to write my own biography, as long as I have strength and means to do better work. The remarkable circumstances attending those Calculating Machines, on which I have spent so large a portion of my life, make me wish to place on record some account of their past history. As, however, such a work would be utterly uninteresting to the greater part of my countrymen, I thought it might be rendered less unpalatable by relating some of my experience amongst various classes of society, widely differing from each other, in which I have occasionally mixed. This volume does not aspire to the name of an autobiography. It relates a variety of isolated circumstances in which I have taken part—some of them arranged in the order of time, and others grouped together in separate chapters, from similarity of subject. The selection has been made in some cases from the importance of the matter. In others, from the celebrity of the persons concerned ; whilst several of them furnish interesting illustrations of human character. - Summary by From the Preface

Genre(s): Mathematics, Philosophy, Technology & Engineering

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Dedication and Preface Lynne T
00:03:39
Play 01 My Ancestors Lynne T
00:10:04
Play 02 Childhood amitsharma
00:17:10
Play 03 Boyhood amitsharma
00:13:49
Play 04 Cambridge Kathleen Moore
00:30:15
Play 05 Difference Engine No. 1 Part 1 realisticspeakers
00:28:06
Play 06 Difference Engine No. 1 Part 2 realisticspeakers
00:29:39
Play 07 Statement relative to the Difference Engine, drawn up by the late Sir H. Nicolas from the Author’s Papers Part 1 Ellies
00:54:10
Play 08 Difference Engine No. 2 Ellies
00:28:34
Play 09 Of the Analytical Engine Part 1 Chris Cartwright
00:34:48
Play 10 Of the Analytical Engine Part 2 Availle
00:29:00
Play 11 Of the Mechanical Notation Availle
00:09:25
Play 12 The Exhibition of 1862 Lynne T
00:38:14
Play 13 The Late Prince Consort Lynne T
00:08:14
Play 14 Recollections of the Duke of Wellington Kathleen Moore
00:24:24
Play 15 Recollections of Wollaston, Davy, and Rogers Lynne T
00:17:55
Play 16 Recollections of Laplace, Biot, and Humboldt Gillian Hendrie
00:20:26
Play 17 Experience by Water Stephen Harvey
00:13:13
Play 18 Experience by Fire Stephen Harvey
00:25:16
Play 19 Experience Amongst Workmen Stephen Harvey
00:08:04
Play 20 Picking Locks and Deciphering Jon Scott Jones
00:17:31
Play 21 Experience in St. Giles’s Jon Scott Jones
00:16:35
Play 22 Theatrical Experience Jon Scott Jones
00:15:06
Play 23 Electioneering Experience Thomas Trask
00:29:50
Play 24 Scene from a New After-Piece Richard Garifo
00:31:51
Play 25 Experience at Courts ChadH94
00:10:46
Play 26 Experience at Courts Jane Bennett
00:31:08
Play 27 Railways Stephen Harvey
00:38:51
Play 28 Street Nuisances Stephen Harvey
00:42:53
Play 29 Wit Dale Grothmann
00:16:11
Play 30 Hints for Travellers Colleen McMahon
00:29:18
Play 31 Miracles ClaudiaSterngucker
00:22:31
Play 32 Religion Kathleen Moore
00:21:07
Play 33 A Vision Kathleen Moore
00:32:23
Play 34 Various Reminiscences Kathleen Moore
00:17:04
Play 35 The Author’s Cont­ri­bu­tions to Human Knowledge William Allan Jones
00:22:30
Play 36 The Author’s further Cont­ri­bu­tions to Human Knowledge Part 1 William Allan Jones
00:32:00
Play 37 The Author’s further Cont­ri­bu­tions to Human Knowledge Part 2 William Allan Jones
00:31:57
Play 38 Results of Science Thomas Trask
00:16:05
Play 39 Agreeable Recollections Dale Grothmann
00:08:02