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Nancy Herrmann

Creative Director and Packaging Designer

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The Bride of Science by Benjamin Woolley

Hello fellow classmates!

For my book cover redesign, I have chosen to work on The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason and Byron's Daughter by Benjamin Woolley. I'm also using this book for Jessica Hische's Introduction to Lettering course utilizing a single letter. For obvious reasons, I will be exploring alternative designs for this exercise.

I have read this non-fiction book several times over the years and find it fascinating every single time. It has a great intersection of history, biography, poetry and scandal. Here are some bullet points about the book:

  • Biography of Ada Lovelace, also known as The Enchantress of Numbers. She is widely considered the first computer programmer, publishing the "code" and instructions for Charles Babbage's Difference Engine.
  • Ada was the conflicted daughter of a temptuous and short-lived marriage between hedonist poet Lord Byron and the prim and proper Anabella Milbank.
  • Setting is the Victorian era in England. It marked the beginning of the Machine Age with great transformations in travel, communication, health, industry and science. 

There are only two covers that I have seen for this book, both with Ada's portrait. I have the one on the left with an illustration of Babbage's Difference Engine. I'm not a fan of the lettering and neither one takes a more interpretive approach. I would think it shouldn't be too difficult to create something new and unique.

While I took these notes for the lettering class, most of them equally apply to this cover redesign project.

From there, I picked a few loose concepts to explore the cover redesign. Now off to hunt down some images.

  • marriage (between Byron and Anabella, art and science)
  • Difference Engine (gears, mathematics, science, industry)
  • madness (phrenology, mesmerism, lunatic asylums, hysteria, Frankenstein)

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