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Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers

donderdag 28 december 2006 22:27

A Selection from the Letters of Lord Byron's daughter and Her Description of the First Computer

This book presents a great way to enter the life of Augusta Ada Lovelace. It describes the way she educates herself, having a.o. Augustus De Morgan as a tutor. All through her life she is befriended with Charles Babbage, the creator of the first general purpose computer. Their correspondence on this subject is first creative, but turns sour later on. Thankfully, the friendship is restored after this. Ada never sees her father, Lord Byron, but his presence is always there, because Lady Byron continually tries to keep Ada away from him and his "sinful" ways. The relation of Ada with her children, Byron, Annabella, and Ralph is both troublesome and joyous. The relation with husband William is always rather stiff and Ada keeps secrets from him.

The book consists of a large number of letters, welcomely interrupted by introductions and explanations of the author, Betty Alexandra Toole. Ada's lively style in writing is always very open and emotional. It gives the reader a profound look into the life of this remarkable woman.

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