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By Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell continues to be one of many maximum philosophers and most complicated and debatable figures of the 20 th century. right here, during this frank, funny and decidedly fascinating autobiography, Russell deals readers the tale of his lifestyles – introducing the folk, occasions and affects that formed the guy he was once to develop into. initially released in 3 volumes within the past due Sixties, Autobiography through Bertrand Russell is a revealing recollection of a very outstanding lifestyles written with the brilliant freshness and readability that has made Bertrand Russell’s writings so distinctively his own.

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Extra info for Autobiography (Routledge Classics)

Example text

Socially I was shy, childish, awkward, well behaved, and good-natured. I used to watch with envy people who could manage social intercourse without anguished awkwardness. There was a young man called Cattermole who, I suppose, must have been a bit of a bounder; but I watched him walking with a smart young woman with easy familiarity and evidently pleasing her. And I would think that never, never, never should I learn to behave in a manner that could possibly please any woman in whom I might be interested.

She used to slap me childhood occasionally, and I can remember crying when she did so, but it never occurred to me to regard her as less of a friend on that account. She was with me until I was six years old. During her time I also had a nursery maid called Ada who used to light the fire in the morning while I lay in bed. She would wait till the sticks were blazing and then put on coal. I always wished she would not put on coal, as I loved the crackle and brightness of the burning wood. The nurse slept in the same room with me, but never, so far as my recollection serves me, either dressed or undressed.

I liked mathematics best, and next to mathematics I liked history. Having no one with whom to compare myself, I did not know for a long time whether I was better or worse than other boys, but I remember once hearing my Uncle Rollo saying goodbye to Jowett, the Master of Balliol, at the front door, and remarking: ‘Yes, he’s getting on very well indeed’, and I knew, though how I cannot tell, that he was speaking of my work. As soon as I realised that I was intelligent, I determined to achieve something of intellectual importance if it should be at all possible, and throughout my youth I let nothing whatever stand in the way of this ambition.

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