By Dorothy Stein
During this engrossing biography, Dorothy Stein strips away the various layers of fable to bare a narrative way more dramatic and engaging than earlier debts have indicated.
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Additional info for Ada: A Life and a Legacy
The "functions" of the brain were classified in terms of a set of behavioral "faculties," and attempts were made to relate these faculties to the structure of the brain as it appeared to the anatomists of the day. Some "organ" of the brain was supposed to give rise to each faculty, or behavioral disposition. Just how many faculties there were, and their exact locations in the head, were matters of some dispute. Among the faculties were included such "feelings and propensities" as "combativeness," "constructive ness," "destructiveness," and "acquisitiveness.
I might lay quite still &. never move. 29 Miss Lamont's journal confirms the stringency of the requirements to lie still and please Mama. If she so much as moved her fingers, her hands were encased in black bags . . before Lady Byron she was immediately subdued - submitted to have the finger bags put on, and went into confinement into a closet for half an hour. . Lady Byron went to Leicester at 2 o'clock during her absence, Ada never, I believe for a moment, lost sight of the stimulus of doing well that she might give pleasure to her mamma on her return by a good report.
I have made a good impression," she wrote her mother in describing some new acquaintances, "but the funniest thing is that because I go to church very regularly &. sometimes talk pye-house (pious) . . it is supposed in the 'Assembly of the Saints' that I am on the high-road to Heaven. "I 7 Her determination to acquire a command over Ada's habits needed no reinforcement or aid from divine sources. of the governing character as the correspondence of certain of its aualities to the weakness of the 2"OV erned :'" Therefore, if emancipation is desired, a resolute and unsparing investigation of our own infirmities, and the annihilation of every delusion of the Imagination is the only means of radical cure.
Ada: A Life and a Legacy by Dorothy Stein