Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

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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 (15 hr 28 min)


Dedication and Preface 3:39 Read by Lynne T
My Ancestors 10:04 Read by Lynne T
Childhood 17:10 Read by amitsharma
Boyhood 13:49 Read by amitsharma
Cambridge 30:15 Read by Kathleen Moore
Difference Engine No. 1 Part 1 28:06 Read by realisticspeakers
Difference Engine No. 1 Part 2 29:39 Read by realisticspeakers
Statement relative to the Difference Engine, drawn up by the late Sir H. Nicola… 54:10 Read by Ellies
Difference Engine No. 2 28:34 Read by Ellies
Of the Analytical Engine Part 1 34:48 Read by Chris Cartwright
Of the Analytical Engine Part 2 29:00 Read by Availle
Of the Mechanical Notation 9:25 Read by Availle
The Exhibition of 1862 38:14 Read by Lynne T
The Late Prince Consort 8:14 Read by Lynne T
Recollections of the Duke of Wellington 24:24 Read by Kathleen Moore
Recollections of Wollaston, Davy, and Rogers 17:55 Read by Lynne T
Recollections of Laplace, Biot, and Humboldt 20:26 Read by Gillian Hendrie
Experience by Water 13:13 Read by Stephen Harvey
Experience by Fire 25:16 Read by Stephen Harvey
Experience Amongst Workmen 8:04 Read by Stephen Harvey
Picking Locks and Deciphering 17:31 Read by Jon Scott Jones
Experience in St. Giles’s 16:35 Read by Jon Scott Jones
Theatrical Experience 15:06 Read by Jon Scott Jones
Electioneering Experience 29:50 Read by Thomas Trask
Scene from a New After-Piece 31:51 Read by Richard Garifo
Experience at Courts 10:46 Read by ChadH94
Experience at Courts 31:08 Read by Jane Bennett
Railways 38:51 Read by Stephen Harvey
Street Nuisances 42:53 Read by Stephen Harvey
Wit 16:11 Read by Dale Grothmann
Hints for Travellers 29:18 Read by Colleen McMahon
Miracles 22:31 Read by ClaudiaSterngucker
Religion 21:07 Read by Kathleen Moore
A Vision 32:23 Read by Kathleen Moore
Various Reminiscences 17:04 Read by Kathleen Moore
The Author’s Cont­ri­bu­tions to Human Knowledge 22:30 Read by William Allan Jones
The Author’s further Cont­ri­bu­tions to Human Knowledge Part 1 32:00 Read by William Allan Jones
The Author’s further Cont­ri­bu­tions to Human Knowledge Part 2 31:57 Read by William Allan Jones
Results of Science 16:05 Read by Thomas Trask
Agreeable Recollections 8:02 Read by Dale Grothmann