Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is known as the Enchantress of Numbers. The only legitimate child of famed Romantic poet Lord Byron and his wife, Anna Isabella Byron, Ada exhibited extraordinary mathematical talent early in her life. Her talent led to a working relationship with fellow British mathematician Charles Babbage, who invented the first programmable computer, the Analytical Engine. Lovelace’s book of notes on a translation of Italian engineer Luigi Menabrea’s article about the engine included an algorithm that became the world’s first computer program in 1843.
Lovelace was also famous in Victorian society for her family name and scandalous behavior. She was a regular in the court, had many working relationships with men who were not her husband, and had a love for gambling that led her to form a syndicate with male friends that created a mathematical model for winning large bets. Unfortunately, it failed and left her thousands of pounds in debt, forcing her to admit the scheme to her husband, the Earl of Lovelace. On her deathbed, she confessed something to her husband that resulted in his leaving her side just two days before her passing, never to return. What she said is a secret she took to her grave. She also had pacts in place with her friends to burn all of her letters upon her death, so the full details of Lovelace’s fascinating life may never be known.