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Enchantress of Numbers

Narrated by: Virginia Leishman
Length: 20 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Chiaverini illuminates the fascinating life of Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace - Lord Byron's daughter, the world's first computer programmer, and a woman whose exceptional contributions to science and technology have been too long unsung.

The only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the most brilliant, revered, and scandalous of the Romantic poets, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. Estranged from Ada's father, who was infamously "mad, bad, and dangerous to know", Ada's mathematician mother is determined to save her only child from her perilous Byron heritage. Banishing fairy tales and make-believe from the nursery, Ada's mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education grounded in mathematics and science. Any troubling spark of imagination - or, worse yet, passion or poetry - is promptly extinguished. Or so her mother believes.

When Ada is introduced into London society as a highly eligible young heiress, she at last discovers the intellectual and social circles she has craved all her life. Little does she realize that her delightful new friendship with inventor Charles Babbage - brilliant, charming, and occasionally curmudgeonly - will shape her destiny. Intrigued by the prototype of his first calculating machine, the Difference Engine, and enthralled by the plans for his even more advanced Analytical Engine, Ada resolves to help Babbage realize his extraordinary vision, unique in her understanding of how his invention could transform the world. All the while, she passionately studies mathematics - ignoring skeptics who consider it an unusual, even unhealthy pursuit for a woman - falls in love, discovers the shocking secrets behind her parents' estrangement, and comes to terms with the unquenchable fire of her imagination.

In Enchantress of Numbers, New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Chiaverini unveils the passions, dreams, and insatiable thirst for knowledge of a largely unheralded pioneer in computing - a young woman who stepped out of her father's shadow to achieve her own laurels and champion the new technology that would shape the future.

©2017 Jennifer Chiaverini (P)2017 Recorded Books

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A good read

l really enjoyed this book, such an interesting history, bringing life to characters previously unknown

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Excellent rendition of Ada Lovelsce's life. i enj

Excellent rendition of Ada Lovelace's life. I teally enjoyed both the story and the reading.

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Profile Image for Joyce Heffernan
  • Joyce Heffernan
  • 19-03-2018

Numbers can be poetry.

What might the heroine have become if not for her mother? These two women, brilliant with number sciences, fight for recognition long before liberation in the 20th Century could help them. Their success is constrained by the times and the mother’s endless desire to arrange her daughter’s reputation. Well read and produced.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • E in Atlanta
  • 19-12-2018

Not my bag, but entertaining and educational

Decent historical fiction. Well researched, well performed. The writing style didn't grab me, but that's more on me than the author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin
  • 23-06-2019

A story of a hidden gem

This story of a female scientist, unknown to me, kept my attention and intrigued me with its relevance to today's scientific community. The reader was able to present many characters appropriately.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Melissa Schemmel
  • 22-06-2019

Excellent Historical Novel

Simply loved learning about this somewhat forgotten, early "computer" scientist. Sadly tragic in so many ways, but told with great thought and feeling. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Willow Star Serenity
  • 20-06-2019

Brilliant!

Ada lives a very privileged life. However, it’s not as amazing of a life as she would hope. From a very young age, she knew that her mother and grandparents were keeping something from her. She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to know anything about her father and why she was forbidden from learning things. As she grows up, she learns more and more things about her father. She discovers why the truth had been hidden from her all that time.
I really enjoyed this book very greatly. I didn’t think I’d like it much at first. It had a bit of a slow start. But yes, I adored Ada very much. I loved her courage and her will. Her willingness to go for what she wanted despite what was going on around her. She wound up complying for the greater purpose, but she kept her beliefs. I can’t say much more, but I loved it. I wanted to do research on the real Ada Lovelace. Maybe I will here soon.
I guess I don’t need to divulge that I found the characters relatable. I gushed greatly over the main character at length. I can say that I would have loved to see more of the mother’s point of view. I just wanted to read a little more into why she was the way she was from her perspective. It wasn’t really important. Ada’s story is. But still. I enjoyed reading about all the characters. Especially the famous ones that were casually mentioned.
The narrator did a fantastic job. The book already made me feel like I was in that time frame, but she enhanced that. She talked very properly. She made me feel like I was listening to a person that was in that time frame rather than a narrator narrating an audiobook. It was brilliant. It added so much flair and exuberance to the story. I would love to track down more of her audiobooks.
Overall, I enjoyed this story very much. It was heartwarming. It made me feel like I learned a bit from history. I am highly encouraged to read more about Ada Lovelace and her remarkable work. I’d like to know what happened to everybody else in the story too. This is one of those stories I feel would greatly stick with you through life. It’s amazing! I fully recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Theresa
  • 26-08-2018

Wonderful!

I loved this book! I think Jennifer Chiaverini has a wonderful way with story telling.

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  • Kathie
  • 06-08-2018

Interesting Woman

I enjoyed this book and admired the subject for wanting to live her own life.

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  • Jasper Van Wyk
  • 14-07-2018

So Good

Absolutely loved this book! Knew nothing of Ada Lovelace, and enjoyed this book so much. Another fabulous book by Jennifer Chiaverini!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful