Ada Lovelace, born Augusta Ada Byron, (PROSE: The Book of the War) sometimes called Ada Gordon, (TV: Spyfall) and later known as Countess of Lovelace, or Lady King after her husband, (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers) was Lord Byron's daughter and the first computer programmer. (PROSE: The Book of the War) She had encounters with both the Fourth and Thirteenth Doctors. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers, TV: Spyfall)
Biography[edit | edit source]
Childhood[edit | edit source]
Ada Byron was born in 1815 to Lord George Gordon Byron and his wife Annabella. However, after Lord Byron's depraved behavior disturbed his wife, she took Ada and fled from his company (PROSE: The Book of the War) sometime before he left for Switzerland. (AUDIO: The Witch from the Well)
Ada was mentioned in her father's work Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. (TV: The Haunting of Villa Diodati) When the Thirteenth Doctor, who had met Ada during one of her previous adventures (TV: Spyfall), visited Villa Diodati in 1816, Lord Byron believed that the Doctor was after the third canto of the title. The Doctor debunked this, but complimented Byron on the work's mention of his daughter Ada, prompting him to ask if she knew of his daughter. The Doctor responded that Ada had a "gorgeous brain". (TV: The Haunting of Villa Diodati)
Through Annabella, the Star Chamber recruited Ada at a young age, and she was raised to be a mathematics prodigy. She was kept removed from poetry so she would not follow in her father's footsteps. (PROSE: The Book of the War) According to Colonel Wildman, Ada's mother brought her up to believe that Byron had been mad. It was kept secret that Ada was Byron's daughter. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)
Starting when Ada was 13 years old, she began to experience bouts of paralysis during which she was transported to a strange realm that she believed was her mind. There, she was visited by glowing apparitions which she called her guardians. No doctor was able to determine the cause of these events; in reality, they were caused by the Kasaavin, who were abducting Ada into their dimension to be studied. (TV: Spyfall)
The Clockwork Ouroboros[edit | edit source]
The Star Chamber tasked Ada with decoding Bach's Musical Offering, which they regarded as key to an attack on the Eleven-Day Empire. She struggled to interpret its encrypted data, but she realised that Charles Babbage's plan for an analytical engine would help her unlock it. In the year 1834, 19-year-old Ada approached Babbage to help develop his designs, and together they constructed the machine. she nicknamed the machine "the Clockwork Ouroboros". (PROSE: The Book of the War) During this work, she wrote the world's first computer program. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)
Around the same time, Ada noticed she was being followed by a mysterious stalker. On 14 October, this stalker approached her as she was leaving Babbage's home on Dorset Street, and he identified himself as her father, Lord Byron, who had supposedly died ten years prior. Ada mentioned this meeting in an 1835 letter to Mary Somerville.
While the topics discussed by Ada and her father in their meeting were unknown, The Book of the War concluded that she must have told him about the Clockwork Ouroboros, in an act of rebellion against her upbringing and of desire to please her absent father. Byron did not tell his daughter about his involvement with Faction Paradox, but he promised to stay in touch with her.
The following morning, the analytical engine was activated and the Star Chamber's invasion of the Eleven-Day Empire began. The subsequent "Clockwork Ouroboros affair" ended with Ada fleeing the scene as her father destroyed the machine with his shadow-weapon. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Meeting the Thirteenth Doctor[edit | edit source]
In 1834, Ada was experiencing a bout of paralysis when she encountered the Thirteenth Doctor in the Kasaavin realm, which she had believed to be a private manifestation of her unconscious. When they returned together, they found themselves at a technological exhibition hosted by Charles Babbage. The Master arrived and began shrinking guests with his Tissue Compression Eliminator, but during his confrontation with the Doctor, Ada used the technology on display to shoot at him and hit him with several grenades.
Afterwards, at Babbage's house, the Doctor explained how Ada's paralysis was being caused by the Kasaavin, and she triggered a device owned by Babbage to create a portal, which Ada jumped into at the last moment. Rather than leading to the Kasaavin dimension, the portal led them to 1943 Paris, where Noor Inayat Khan protected them from Nazi officers.
They briefly visited Britain in 2020 before the Doctor returned them to their home periods. Ada begged the Doctor to let her continue traveling in the TARDIS, but despite Ada's protestations, the Doctor wiped her memory of all she had seen. (TV: Spyfall)
Enchantress of Numbers[edit | edit source]
As one of England's foremost mathematicians and logicians, Lovelace was given the title of "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)
She maintained a close relationship with Charles Babbage and his circle, in the process informing her father about their efforts to recreate the clockwork engine that had breached the Eleven-Day Empire. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Ada married William King, Lord of Lovelace, and became known as Ada Lovelace. As her physical and mental health began to decline, she 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 developed a mathematical model for placing calculated bets, in large sums, at horse races. She 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 failed her, putting her into thousands of pounds in gambling debt; to curb her losses, her husband, Lord King, sent her to Newstead Abbey. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)
Meeting the Fourth Doctor[edit | edit source]
By 1852, Lovelace considered her life with mathematics to be behind her. At Newstead Abbey, she claimed to prefer her new, quiet life, in which she entertained herself by playing cards with Colonel Wildman. In reality, she escaped the estate on nights, regularly visiting the nearby Papplewick Arms to engage in low-stakes gambling.
Prior to first meeting her, the Fourth Doctor had read all of Lovelace's notes on Babbage's analytical engine. On the Doctor's arrival, Colonel Wildman assumed that he was a visiting physician, answering his call, as the Countess of Lovelace 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. She was followed by the Doctor, who had suspected she was hiding the true nature of her night-time activities. The Doctor joined in and partnered with her to compete against Harry, Ted, George, and Charlie in a game of 5-card cribbage. (AUDIO: The Enchantress of Numbers)
Death[edit | edit source]
Throughout Ada's entire life, her father maintained his promise to stay in touch, using a variety of pseudonyms.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
According to the Fourth Doctor, because Babbage's analytical engine ultimately "came to nothing", Lovelace's accomplishments went unacknowledged for almost a century. 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) The Thirteenth Doctor regarded her as a visionary because she was the "first to see the potential" in computer technology. (AUDIO: Spyfall)
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