a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|This book is made up of notes and e-mail messages from a feminist historian interspersed with chapters from a previously unknown novel by Lord Byron which she has discovered while researching his daughter, the mathematician Ada Byron (Countess of Lovelace). And, it is all fictional -- the notes, messages, the historian and the novel were all created by Crowley's imagination.
The novel is found by the historian in the form of a manuscript consisting entirely of tables of numbers. With the help of her mathematician girlfriend they decipher it and discover what appears to be an autobiographical novel by Byron. (It was apparently encoded in this form by Ada who wanted to preserve it when the original is burned at her mother's insistence.)
The best portrait of Ada (Byron's daughter) outside of her biographies. Crowley breathes life into her. And the processing of encryption and decoding will become a classic of its kind, on a par with Poe's "Gold Bug"
Excellent book all around. The author has written a creditable and quite readable complete book-within-a-book in the style of Byron, which means that he really wrote two books here. While application of the encryption and decoding is central to the story, he does not spend a lot of time on the hows. All in all, a very satisfying read.
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mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)