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The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer Paperback – 25 Aug 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (25 Aug. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141981539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141981536
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


So impossibly funny, clever, demented, charming and altogether wonderful that I was a convert within three pages. Buy it for everyone you know, regardless of what you think they like. Brilliant stuff (Lucy Mangan, Book of the Year Stylist)

An utter joy... Padua has done her research: she has teased out the connections between Babbage, Lovelace and what would seem to be the whole of Victorian culture and society - and done so in a way that appears almost effortless on the page, her light, easy graphic style an excellent vehicle not only for deep and complex thought, but for excellent, and sometimes excellently corny, jokes. This is a book to reread, not just read (Nicholas Lezard Guardian)

My new favourite book. It has everything. Byron, maths, imaginary computers, emotion (Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive)

The book does more than simply celebrate the genius of the first computer programmer, it encourages us to turn our imagination to technology - just as Lovelace did. And that's an inspiration to us all (Nicola Davis Observer Tech Monthly)

The wittiest, best-researched and most original tribute yet paid to the achievements of Ada Lovelace... An astonishing debut... a book that ought to be ordered in triplicate by every school in the land... Ingenious as a textbook, marvellous fun as inventive biography (Miranda Seymour Literary Review)

Rich with in-jokes, warmth and charm... It's difficult not to be ignited by Sydney Padua's enthusiasm. There is so much to discover that I'll treasure my copy for years to come (Hannah Fry BBC Focus)

A stylish, funny graphic novel featuring Ada Lovelace, estranged daughter of Lord Byron, and co-programmer, had it ever been built, of the "mathematical engine". Playful, earnest, and beautifully drawn, the book cuts a swathe through early computing theory, explores Ada's relationship with Charles Babbage, and brings to the fore one of the unsung heroines of science (Sarah Hall Independent)

There is no way around this, Sydney Padua's Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is bloody brilliant... and educational too (Robin Ince)

I love it... everyone is getting a copy (Martha Lane-Fox)

Wonderful and genuinely informative... Padua's gorgeous art and very funny text are combined with factual footnotes to create an utterly unique and enormously enjoyable book - (Anna Carey Irish Times)

About the Author

Sydney Padua is an animator and visual effects artist, usually employed in making giant monsters appear to be attacking people for the movies. She started drawing comics by accident with the webcomic 2D Goggles or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage and is still trying to figure out how to stop. Originally from the Canadian prairie, she now lives in London with her husband and far too many books.

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