Enchantress of Numbers

Enchantress of Numbers

A Novel of Ada Lovelace

Book - 2017
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"The only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the most brilliant, revered, and scandalous of the Romantic poets, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. Estranged from Ada's father, who was infamously "mad, bad, and dangerous to know," Ada's mathematician mother is determined to save her only child from her perilous Byron heritage. Banishing fairy tales and make-believe from the nursery, Ada's mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education grounded in mathematics and science. Any troubling spark of imagination--or worse yet, passion or poetry--is promptly extinguished. Or so her mother believes. When Ada is introduced into London society as a highly eligible young heiress, she at last discovers the intellectual and social circles she has craved all her life. Little does she realize that her delightful new friendship with inventor Charles Babbage--brilliant, charming, and occasionally curmudgeonly--will shape her destiny..."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York, New York, N.Y. : Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781101985205
Branch Call Number: CHI
Characteristics: 433 pages : genealogical table ; 24 cm

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darladoodles
Nov 04, 2017

After reading about Ada Lovelace in The Colors of Madeleine Series by Jaclyn Moriarty, this book immediately caught my eye on the Edelweiss site. A big thanks to them and Penguin Publishing for the ARC of this forthcoming novel.

Chiaverini took great care in telling Ada's story beginning with the romance between her mother and Lord Byron, their calamitous marriage and estrangement and then continuing to tell Ada's story from birth to death. It is difficult to be sympathetic to Lady Byron through much of the book, but we get a very good understanding of Ada and how her parentage contributed to her title of "Enchantress of Numbers" which in that time was quite a feat for a woman. The context was also thoroughly done and we see the rise and fall of monarchs as well as Ada's friendship with historical figures like Charles Dickens.

This would make an excellent book group selection. There are so many issues that could be discussed including the fears Lady Byron had of Ada following her father's footsteps into madness; the accomplishments of women in a time when they had no such expectations, the machines Babbage was working on and their contribution to our modern computer age, etc.

Recommended!

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