Meet Victorian London's most dynamic duo: Charles Babbage, the unrealized inventor of the computer, and his accomplice, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the peculiar protoprogrammer and daughter of Lord Byron. Read more...
Meet Victorian London's most dynamic duo: Charles Babbage, the unrealized inventor of the computer, and his accomplice, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the peculiar protoprogrammer and daughter of Lord Byron. When Lovelace translated a description of Babbage's plans for an enormous mechanical calculating machine in 1842, she added annotations three times longer than the original work. Her footnotes contained the first appearance of the general computing theory, a hundred years before an actual computer was built. Sadly, Lovelace died of cancer a decade after publishing the paper, and Babbage never built any of his machines.
But do not despair The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents a rollicking alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine and then use it to build runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wilder realms of mathematics, and, of course, fight crime--for the sake of both London and science. Complete with extensive footnotes that rival those penned by Lovelace herself, historical curiosities, and never-before-seen diagrams of Babbage's mechanical, steam-powered computer, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is wonderfully whimsical, utterly unusual, and, above all, entirely irresistible.
(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-01-26
- Reviewer: Staff
This print edition of Padua’s webcomic is a must-have for anyone who enjoys getting lost in a story as brilliant in execution as conception. Padua debut graphic novel transforms the collaboration between Ada Lovelace (the daughter of Lord Byron) and Charles Babbage (a noted polymath) into an inspired, “What If?” story. Lovelace was a talented mathematician and helped translate a paper on Babbage’s ideas for an Analytical Engine, the world’s first computer. The notes she added to the translation were so cleverly detailed that experts today recognize them as the first example of computer programming. Although Lovelace died a few years later and Babbage was left to tinker with his Analytical Engine until his death, Padua imagines an alternate reality where they build the engine and use it to “have thrilling adventures and fight crime!” The immensity of Padua’s research and the wit and allusions of her prose are striking, saying as much about what drove her to explore the possibilities of her protagonists’ relationship as about the protagonists themselves. Permeated by delightful illustrations, obsessive foot- and endnotes, and a spirit of genuine inventiveness, it’s an early candidate for the year’s best. (Apr.)