The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

Book - 2015
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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.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780307908278
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIC NOVEL Padua, Sydney
Characteristics: 315 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 26 cm


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Oct 25, 2017

Combining both a knowledge of notable Victorian mathematicians AND fluid illustrations suitable for storyboards, Sydney Padua creates an intelligent and entertaining read.

What I do want to point out is the sheer amount of research poured into this work, complete with footnotes that at one point engulf the page in a visual gag that can only be halted by Her Majesty herself. It's like listening to a good friend go on and on about something they're particularly passionate about. Whether or not you share the same amount of investment doesn't matter, it's just so much fun to gain insight on this facet of their interests.

Aug 01, 2016

Loved everything about this book!

Jun 22, 2016

Too many footnotes, endnotes, appendices, etc. Boring, tedious. Ordinary drawings, little storytelling.

JennaZeeLibrarian Jan 13, 2016

This graphic novel focuses on two historical figures (Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage) who are credited with inventing the idea of the first computer and computer program. The two were colleagues in real life but very tragically Ada Lovelace died before she could continue her scientific contributions and Babbage did not have the drive to finish many of his inventions. Sydney Padua has invented a pocket universe where the two survive to have many adventures together. I adored this book, both the learning of the actual facts and the author's use of snarky humor.

KateHillier Nov 22, 2015

It starts out like a historical comic about Charles Babbage's never constructed Difference Engine and Ada Lovelace's role in the creation of the first computer (also never really realised since she died young and Babbage never built his machines). Then we enter 'the pocket universe' where Babbage and Lovelace get to build their engines and have adventures! It's fun and whimsical but there is also a ton of research put into this. There's probably more text here (in the form of footnotes, endnotes, and appendices) about the two and early computer science in general. Lots of fun and learning to be had.

forbesrachel Nov 03, 2015

What started as an historical comic about the inventors of the first computer, turned into a whole series on the adventures that Lovelace and Babbage could have had (if this was an alternate universe). Even when Padua charges full steam into the realm of fantasy, she continues to line her stories with facts, letters that characters wrote to each other, or other historical tidbits. Almost every single page is footed by notes describing the sources, and explaining their relevance. Chapters end with additional pages that delve further into larger topics, and the appendices provide examples of the primary sources she used, and a detailed look at Babbage's analytical engine. Padua has done extensive research into the lives of Lovelace and Babbage, and the workings of their machine, and it is what makes this comic so unique. Her humour too is spot on, taking the quirky personas of these two individuals and rolling with it. While their adventures are fun, and certainly in line with comic antics, they never stray too far from the realm of possibility. The feel of "history" never disappears. Much of the humour is visual. Characters are drawn as caricatures, with expressive faces, and bold actions, and sound effects are prominent. This is not a quick read, but it is an easy one to get through thanks to this. An absolutely delightful historical lesson, and what-if scenario.

Aug 26, 2015

Great fun even for those of us who can't quite follow the mathematics. It brings to life many aspects of 19th century history, from steam engines to economics to literature.

FW_librarian Jun 18, 2015

Unbelievably clever! This graphic-novel book takes an amazing true episode in computer history and makes its explosively entertaining and an informative read (adding a what if ending). This talented comic illustrator has done her research - no doubt about it. Highly recommend this book to young adult women who love history and love computers.


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