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The Private Life of Lord Byron (theguardian.com)
46 points by lermontov 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments

My favorite Lord Byron fact is that he so infuriated his estranged wife, Lady Byron, that she pushed their only child towards studying mathematics & logic to keep her from becoming like her father.

That daughter, of course, was Ada Lovelace.

While I certainly wouldn't credit his eccentricities with the accomplishments of his daughter, I'm glad his wife thought he was crazy enough to push Ada towards the life she lived.

And had this story that was on HN recently played out slightly differently, neither would have existed:


IIRC, Ada Lovelace remarked that she was torn between two natures, one 'mathematical' and the other 'poetical.'

Yes! She wrote about desiring "poetical science."

And so she became a programmer. I wonder if she were alive today what her commit messages would sound like?

chore(*) s/foo/bar

He was a monstrous personality.

Case in point: She placed her daughter, Allegra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegra_Byron), in a convent when she was four, taking her away from her mother. Her letter from the convent of San Giovanni Battista in Bagnacavallo near Ravenna is heartbreaking (you can see the letter at http://shelleysghost.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/letter-from-allegra-t...).

On the second page you can see her handwriting asking "Pappa" to visit her. He never responded to the letter or visited her. She died when she was five at the convent. Percy and Mary Shelly tried to persuade Byron to let the girl to live with them, he wouldn't consent to that either.

"Che Fá il mio Amato Pappá? io sto cosí bene, e tanto contenta che non posso se non ringraziare il sempre Caro mio Pappa che mi procuró un tanto bene da cui imploro la sua Benedizione, la sua Allegrina lo saluta di cuore."

[What is my Dear Papa doing? I am so well, and so happy that I cannot but thank my ever dear Papa who brings me so much happiness and whose blessing I ask for. Your little Allegra sends her loving greetings.]

Breaks my heart every single time I read it! "Amato Pappá" indeed!

Yes - after that, an appropriate name swap might be order by taking Byron's epitaph for the much hated politician Castlereagh.

"Posterity will ne'er survey A Nobler grave than this: Here lie the bones of Castlereagh Stop, traveller and p* "

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