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Epistle To Augusta

Lord Byron

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Added by: Maddy
Byron's relationship with his half-sister was something of a scandal. She was 11 years his senior and as children they had grown up in seperate households. As a teenager he made her his close confidant.

Early in his marriage to Annabella Milbanke they went to stay at the home of Augusta and her husband, a cousin called George Leigh. George was always drunk and gambling on the gee-gees. Augusta, or Goose as her brother affectionately called her, had a little girl called Medora. Byron informed his young wife that Medora was his daughter and that he loved Goose more than he ever could her. It is not surprising that she divorced him shortly after the birth of her own daughter, whom Byron insisted on naming Ada Augusta after his sister.

After the divorce Byron was in such disgrace in British society that he went to Europe, prefixing the next round of verses with passionate lines to little Ada Augusta whom he would never see again. What happened to Augusta, Medora and poor Annabella I do not know, but Ada Augusta married Lord Lovelace. (Lady Lovelace- what a perfect name for an exquisitely pretty, tempremental and impetuous woman.) She goes down in History as the person who wrote the very first Computer Program. This was the result of her fascination with higher mathematics and her long association with the brilliant mathemetician and inventor, Charles Babage for whose Universal Difference Engine (the first effective programable calculator) she wrote her program. Many pieces of it have survived. One is located in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney along with correspondence between Lady Lovelace and Babage.

Byron himself was no intellectual slouch. His memory was phenomal. He claimed to be able to recite every poem he had ever read. On his death it was discovered that his brain weighed about 50% more than the average male human brain, the heaviest "normal" brain on record as listed for many years in the Guiness book of records.

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