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The true story of the infamous 18th-century automaton, linking a cast of characters such as Napoleon, Beethoven and Poe. This tale of an early chess-playing machine provides an accessible inroad into the history of the complex relationship between magic, man, mind, and machine.
Tom Standage is science correspondent of The Economist in London and author of The Victorian Internet: the remarkable story of the nineteeth century's online pioneers (1998) and The Netune File: planet detectives and the discovery of worlds unseen (2000). He lives in Greenwich.