First edition. 8vo. xii, 496 pp., bound without the publisher’s catalogue sometimes found to the rear. Publisher’s green cloth, gilt lettered to the spine, later pencilled ownership inscription to the front pastedown. Frontispiece showing Babbage’s Difference Engine no. 1. Neatly rebacked preserving all but the top of the original spine, occasional light foxing, very good.
Babbage in his preface wrote: “This volume does not aspire to the name of an autobiography”. Showing obvious pride in his pioneering work he wished to put on record the “remarkable circumstances” surrounding the creation of his Difference Engines, though the author worried whether this would be too dry to appeal to a wide audience and thus he wrote this “rambling, colourful, anecdotal” account of his life and times (ODNB). As with much of Babbage’s posthumous fame, the book’s primary interest rests on the description of his calculating engines, here described in chapters V-VII (Difference Engines Nos. 1 & 2) and chapter VIII (“Of the Analytical Engine”).
Author BABBAGE, Charles.