This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain's most infamous Romantic poet, became the world's first computer programmer.
Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutored by the brightest minds, Ada developed a hunger for mental puzzles, mathematical conundrums, and scientific discovery that kept pace with the breathtaking advances of the industrial and social revolutions taking place in Europe. At seventeen, Ada met eccentric inventor Charles Babbage, a kindred spirit. Their ensuing collaborations resulted in ideas and concepts that presaged computer programming by almost two hundred years, and Ada Lovelace is now recognized as a pioneer and prophet of the information age. Award-winning author Emily Arnold McCully opens the window on a peculiar and singular intellect, shaped--and hampered--by history, social norms, and family dysfunction. The result is a portrait that is at once remarkable and fascinating, tragic and triumphant.
Emily Arnold McCully is the author and/or illustrator of many picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for children and young adults, including the Caldecott Medal-winning picture book biography Mirette on the High Wire and Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business -- and Won!, which was a Washington Post Best Children's Book of the Year and a finalist for the YALSA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year. Among her favorite topics to write about are brave girls and women. She lives in New York.