Cultural Babbage: Technology, Time and Invention Paperback – 17 Mar 1997
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Cultural Babbage, edited by Francis Spufford and Jenny Uglow, collects quirky and offbeat essays on technology, culture and forgotten or imaginary histories.
About the Author
Francis Spufford was born in 1964. He is the author of five celebrated books of non-fiction. The most recent, Unapologetic, has been translated into three languages; the one before, Red Plenty, into nine. He has been longlisted or shortlisted for prizes in science writing, historical writing, political writing, theological writing, and writing 'evoking the spirit of place'. His first novel. Golden Hill, was published in 2016 and won the Costa First Novel Award. In 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches creative writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and lives near Cambridge., Francis Spufford, a former Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year (1997), is the author of five highly-praised books of non-fiction. The first, I May Be Some Time, won three literary prizes, and helped create a small new academic field, dedicated to the cultural history of Antarctica. The second, The Child That Books Built, gave Neil Gaiman 'the peculiar feeling that there was now a book I didn't need to write'. Backroom Boys was called 'as nearly perfect as makes no difference' by the Daily Telegraph; Red Plenty has been translated into nine languages, including Polish, Russian and Estonian; Unapologetic is richer in expletives than any previous work of religious advocacy, and is currently shortlisted for the Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing. He has also been shortlisted or longlisted for prizes in writing about science, history, politics and 'the spirit of place'. He teaches at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge with his wife and younger daughter. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Jenny Uglow grew up in Cumbria and now lives in Canterbury. Her books include prize-winning biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell and William Hogarth. The Lunar Men, published in 2002, was described by Richard Holmes as 'an extraordinarily gripping account', while Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick, won the National Arts Writers Award for 2007 and A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration was shortlisted for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize. The Pinecone, published in 2012, tells the story of Romantic visionary Sarah Losh and was described as 'a quiet masterpiece'. Jenny's most recent book, In These Times: Living in Britain through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815 was longlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Jenny is Chair of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature., Jenny Uglow grew up in Cumbria and now lives in Canterbury. Her books include prize-winning biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell and William Hogarth. The Lunar Men, published in 2002, was described by Richard Holmes as 'an extraordinarily gripping account', while Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick, won the National Arts Writers Award for 2007 and A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration was shortlisted for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize. Her most recent book, The Pinecone, tells the story of Romantic visionary Sarah Losh.
Top customer reviews
*Lovelace, not Byron!!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Based on the book's title, I expected this book to primarily be about the lasting impact Babbage's ideas had on culture. I was sorely mistaken. Only about 2 essays were about Babbage and his ideas' impact on culture (and even they veered wildly off the course I expected). A couple other essays dropped Babbage's name, but the rest didn't even do that.
Revisiting the book's table of contents now as I write these comments, I still see essay titles that hold/held so much promise. Instead, however, I have just completed slogging through obtuse and obscure essays that somehow resonated a completely over-inflated opinion of their own importance and ground-breaking-insightfulness.
Of course, the same could be said about this review. :)
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