745
745
Babbage, Charles (1791-1871)
PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF A PHILOSOPHER. LONGMANS, GREEN, LONGMAN, ROBERTS, & GREEN, 1864
Estimate
1,5002,000
LOT SOLD. 10,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
745
Babbage, Charles (1791-1871)
PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF A PHILOSOPHER. LONGMANS, GREEN, LONGMAN, ROBERTS, & GREEN, 1864
Estimate
1,5002,000
LOT SOLD. 10,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London

Babbage, Charles (1791-1871)
PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF A PHILOSOPHER. LONGMANS, GREEN, LONGMAN, ROBERTS, & GREEN, 1864
FIRST EDITION, 8vo (218 x 134mm.), wood-engraved frontispiece of Difference Engine No. 1, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO EMPRESS EUGENIE ON FRONT ENDPAPER ("To her Majesty | Eugenie | Empress of the French | most respectfully presented | by the author"), near identical autograph presentation on final endpaper, SPECIAL ROYAL PRESENTATION BINDING BY RIVIERE, with an all-over gilt strapwork design incorporating various leafy and floral tools, circles and dots, enclosing Empress Eugénie's coat of arms with eagle at the centre, all edges gilt, silk endleaves, inner dentelles, modern folding cloth box, some minor spotting
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Provenance

bought from William & Victoria Dailey, Los Angeles, 1985

Literature

Tomash & Williams B49; Origins of Cyberspace 84; Randell 1979 p.108; Van Sinderen 77

Catalogue Note

A FINE PRESENTATION COPY OF BABBAGE'S IMPORTANT AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WORK, INSCRIBED TO EUGÉNIE DE MONTIJO (1826-1920), the last Empress consort of the French from 1853 to 1871 as wife of Napoleon III. Passages from the Life of a Philosopher contains the computer pioneer's only published description of his Analytical Engine, a universal calculator which is now seen to embody nearly all the important functions of the modern digital computer, as well as accounts of his Difference Engine, and many of his other inventions such as the speedometer, the cowcatcher, encoded lighthouse signalling and what is today known as operations research.

Babbage evidently mis-inscribed his presentation upside down on the rear endpapers before repeating the inscription in the correct, intended position on the front endpaper. The work is dedicated to Victor Emmanuel II, King of Italy, following Babbage's visit to Rome in 1840 to present the drawings and explanation of the Analytical Engine. "To the King, your father, I am indebted for the first public and official acknowledgement of this invention. I am happy in thus expressing my deep sense of that obligation to his son, the Sovereign of united Italy, the country of Archimedes and Galileo" (Dedication).

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London