""[A] colorful cast of luminaries and rogues . . . This biography provides an intriguing glimpse into the beginnings of computer science and a reminder that character is destiny."--"Wall Street Journal
Known in her day as an "enchantress of numbers," Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, was one of the most fascinating women of the 19th century. In collaboration with Charles Babbage, inventor of the mechanical "thinking machine" that anticipated by more than a century the invention of the computer, Ada devised a method of using punch cards to calculate Bernoulli numbers and thus became the mother of computer programming. It was in her honor that, in 1980, the U.S. Department of Defense named its computer language "Ada." In this critically acclaimed biography, Benjamin Woolley, author of "The Queen's Conjurer, portrays Ada Byron's life as the embodiment of the schism between the worlds of romanticism and scientific rationalism. He describes how Ada's efforts to bridge these opposites with a "poetical science" was the driving force behind one of the most remarkable careers of the Victorian Age.