Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: January 2010

9 - The Road to Recovery, 1828–1830


Who more than we could thus appreciate all its [the Plan's] value?

Olinde Rodrigues, 1829


Although his “precarious” way of life had “powerfully contributed” to his edification, Comte now sought a financially secure position, one that would guarantee a calm, peaceful environment in which to develop his ideas and preserve his mental health. He resumed his work as a journalist and collaborated in founding the Journal du génie civil, des sciences et des arts, which first appeared on September 1, 1828. It aimed to review “all the new discoveries and all the developments that will tend to improve and simplify civil constructions.” The journal was attractive to engineers and therefore to former students of the Ecole Polytechnique. Many of Comte's friends and acquaintances were listed as collaborators. Since most of the articles are unsigned, it is difficult to gauge the extent of Comte's contribution. But in the October and November issues, he signed articles reviewing two books on docks and canals written by J. Cordier, whose Histoire de la navigation intérieure he had discussed in Le Censeur européen in 1819. Though pedestrian, his articles helped him to make ends meet.

Comte also began writing in March 1828 for Le Nouveau Journal de Paris, a liberal daily newspaper founded the year before.