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Ada Lovelace, born Augusta Ada Byron and later known as Countess of Lovelace or Lady King after her husband, (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers) was the daughter of Lord George Gordon Byron and his wife Annabella.

Biography Edit

Childhood Edit

Weeks before leaving for Switzerland in 1816, Byron abandoned her and her mother. (AUDIO: The Witch from the Well) The Star Chamber recruited her at a young age through her mother, and they had her raised separate from her father's influence so that her mind would be applied to science rather than poetry. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Her parentage by Lord Byron was in fact generally kept secret. According to Colonel Wildman, Ada's distaste for her father came entirely from her mother's influence. She was brought up to believe Byron had been mad. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)

Analyst and metaphysician Edit

As a mathematics prodigy, she struggled to understand the Musical Offering but found immediate value in Charles Babbage's analytical engine, with which she developed a plan for invading the Eleven-Day Empire, which was put into practice in the Clockwork Ouroboros affair in 1834. (PROSE: The Book of the War) This was the world's first computer program. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)

As one of England's foremost mathematicians and logicians, Lovelace was given the epithet the "Enchantress of Numbers". She considered herself to be an analyst and a metaphysician. Lovelace also invented the discipline of poetical science. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)

Health in decline Edit

As her physical and mental health began to decline, Lovelace was frequently overcome with unexplained exhaustion. She had a disease which ravaged her body. Ada turned to activities which brought her pleasure, such as gambling, to ease the misery she felt would come with simply staying idle.

By her own account, Lovelace once developed a mathematical model for placing calculated bets, in large sums, at horse races. She even set up a gambling syndicate in an attempt to prove that her hypothesis held true, and had practical applications for betting with real values. By her own admission her model had failed her, as she was thousands of pounds in debt from gambling — or rather, her husband, Lord King, suffered those losses. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)

Meeting the Doctor Edit

By 1852, Lovelace considered her life with mathematics to be behind her. She had been sent to Newstead Abbey by her husband in order to curb her most recent hobby, which was proving costly. There, she claimed to prefer playing cards with Colonel Wildman, and her new, quiet life. In reality, she escaped his estate on nights, regularly visiting the nearby Papplewick Arms to engage in low-stakes gambling.

Lovelace repeatedly refused Edvard Scheutz's efforts to gain her assistance with his calculation engine.

Prior to first meeting her, the Fourth Doctor had read all of Lovelace's notes on Babbage's analytical engine, and found them remarkable. On his arrival, Colonel Wildman assumed that the Doctor was a visiting physician, answering his call, as the Countess was unwell. Lovelace was flattered by the Doctor's account of her to his companion Ann Kelso, though at first she denied any need for medical assistance.

That night, she escaped Newstead Abbey to visit the Papplewick Arms, as usual. Her arrival was soon followed by the Doctor's, however, who had suspected she was keeping secret the true nature of her night-time activities. Rather than oppose her, the Doctor joined in on her nocturnal pastime, partnering up with Lovelace to compete against Harry, Ted, George and Charlie in a game of 5-card cribbage. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)

Legacy Edit

According to the Fourth Doctor, because Babbage's analytical engine ultimately "came to nothing" in history as he knew it, Lovelace's accomplishments went unacknowledged for almost 100 years. She would later be regarded as the world's first computer programmer, though more as a "footnote" in computer science history than as the pioneer she could have been. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)

External links Edit

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