The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

With Interesting & Curious Anecdotes of Celebrated and Distinguished Characters, Fully Illustrating A Variety of Instructive and Amusing Scenes; as Performed Within and Without the Remarkable Difference Engine, Embellished With Portraits and Scientifick Diagrams

Graphic Novel - 2015
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A unique take on the unrealized invention of the computer in the 1830s by the eccentric polymath Charles Babbage and his accomplice, the daughter of Lord Byron, Ada, Countess of Lovelace. When Ada translated her friend Babbage's plans for the "Difference Engine," her lengthy footnotes contained the first appearance of the general computing theory-one hundred years before an actual computer was built. Sadly, Lovelace died of cancer a few years after publishing the paper, and Babbage never built any of his machines. But now Sydney Padua gives us an alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine, and then use it to do battle with the American banking system, the publishing industry, their own fears that their project will lose funding, and a villainous street musician who will force the two friends to reevaluate their priorities-"for the sake of both London and science."

(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
Publisher: New York :, Pantheon Books,, 2015, ©2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307908278
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIX 741. 5 PAD
Characteristics: 315 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 27 cm


From Library Staff

Nominee: Best Graphic Album (new) -- Best Writer/Artist (Sydney Padua).

List - Happy Pi Day!
Jessica_c Mar 07, 2016

It's a comic about math and science. Can we get any nerdier?

List - Happy Pi Day!
Lisa_Marie_C Feb 26, 2016

Join Ada and Charles on their steampunk alternate reality adventures. Chock full of computations, silliness, and snarky humour.

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Oct 25, 2017

Combining both a knowledge of notable Victorian mathematicians AND fluid illustrations suitable for storyboards, Sydney Padua creates an intelligent and entertaining read.

What I do want to point out is the sheer amount of research poured into this work, complete with footnotes that at one point engulf the page in a visual gag that can only be halted by Her Majesty herself. It's like listening to a good friend go on and on about something they're particularly passionate about. Whether or not you share the same amount of investment doesn't matter, it's just so much fun to gain insight on this facet of their interests.

Aug 01, 2016

Loved everything about this book!

Jun 22, 2016

Too many footnotes, endnotes, appendices, etc. Boring, tedious. Ordinary drawings, little storytelling.

JennaZeeLibrarian Jan 13, 2016

This graphic novel focuses on two historical figures (Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage) who are credited with inventing the idea of the first computer and computer program. The two were colleagues in real life but very tragically Ada Lovelace died before she could continue her scientific contributions and Babbage did not have the drive to finish many of his inventions. Sydney Padua has invented a pocket universe where the two survive to have many adventures together. I adored this book, both the learning of the actual facts and the author's use of snarky humor.

KateHillier Nov 22, 2015

It starts out like a historical comic about Charles Babbage's never constructed Difference Engine and Ada Lovelace's role in the creation of the first computer (also never really realised since she died young and Babbage never built his machines). Then we enter 'the pocket universe' where Babbage and Lovelace get to build their engines and have adventures! It's fun and whimsical but there is also a ton of research put into this. There's probably more text here (in the form of footnotes, endnotes, and appendices) about the two and early computer science in general. Lots of fun and learning to be had.

forbesrachel Nov 03, 2015

What started as an historical comic about the inventors of the first computer, turned into a whole series on the adventures that Lovelace and Babbage could have had (if this was an alternate universe). Even when Padua charges full steam into the realm of fantasy, she continues to line her stories with facts, letters that characters wrote to each other, or other historical tidbits. Almost every single page is footed by notes describing the sources, and explaining their relevance. Chapters end with additional pages that delve further into larger topics, and the appendices provide examples of the primary sources she used, and a detailed look at Babbage's analytical engine. Padua has done extensive research into the lives of Lovelace and Babbage, and the workings of their machine, and it is what makes this comic so unique. Her humour too is spot on, taking the quirky personas of these two individuals and rolling with it. While their adventures are fun, and certainly in line with comic antics, they never stray too far from the realm of possibility. The feel of "history" never disappears. Much of the humour is visual. Characters are drawn as caricatures, with expressive faces, and bold actions, and sound effects are prominent. This is not a quick read, but it is an easy one to get through thanks to this. An absolutely delightful historical lesson, and what-if scenario.

Aug 26, 2015

Great fun even for those of us who can't quite follow the mathematics. It brings to life many aspects of 19th century history, from steam engines to economics to literature.

FW_librarian Jun 18, 2015

Unbelievably clever! This graphic-novel book takes an amazing true episode in computer history and makes its explosively entertaining and an informative read (adding a what if ending). This talented comic illustrator has done her research - no doubt about it. Highly recommend this book to young adult women who love history and love computers.

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