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The myth of Ada Lovelace

Posted onPosted on 29th May
The myth of Ada Lovelace

An intriguing talk next month at Nottinghamshire County Council’s archives service will discuss the colourful and fascinating life of Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace.

Ada Lovelace has developed such a reputation in the science world that there is a day in the calendar named in her memory. Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The forthcoming archives talk on June 10 at the county council’s archives service will explore her life and discusses to what extent she was involved in scientific discovery and how she battled illness, mixed with royalty and fell foul of gambling.

Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “The Myth of Ada Lovelace is just one of a new series of public talks which are taking place in our recently modernised archives service as we explore and promote the county’s heritage. It is a particularly poignant topic as this year marks the bi-centenary of the birth of Ada Lovelace.”

Ada is buried beside her famous father at St Mary Magdalene Church in Hucknall, and there is a memorial dedicated to her in the Market Place in Hucknall.

Nottinghamshire County Council librarian Ralph Lloyd-Jones, who will give the talk, said: “Ada Lovelace has recently been reinvented as a pioneer female in the history of computing. She is presented as the ideal role model for young women who aspire for a career in science as a maths genius and inventor Charles Babbage’s assistant.”

“However, while Lovelace was a friend of Babbage and was enlisted to help translate a description of his Analytical Engine by the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea into English and produced some extensive footnotes on the work, she was not Babbage’s assistant.”

Mr Lloyd-Jones discusses Lovelace’s life and legacy where she had three children and died at the age of 36 from cancer – the same age that her father had died. She had an aristocratic lifestyle, and was a courtier to William IV. A maths genius, she also had a harrowing experience at the hands of gambling which will be explained in more detail during the talk.

The Myth of Ada Lovelace takes place on Wednesday, June 10, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. Tickets are £4 and booking is essential. For more details contact Nottinghamshire County Council Archives Service, in Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham, NG2 1AG, on 0115 9581634 or email [email protected]