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Mary Everest Boole (1832–1916)

Author of Philosophy & fun of algebra

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Mary Everest Boole was born in Wickwar, England, the daughter of Rev. Thomas Roupell Everest, the local clergyman, and his wife Mary Ryall. Her paternal uncle was Sir George Everest, British Surveyor General of India, for whom Mount Everest was named. She spent the early years of her life in France, where her family moved for her father's health. She received private tutoring in mathematics from a Monsieur Deplace, whose lessons she never forgot. When she was 11 years old, the family moved back to England, and she continued to teach herself mathematics while working as her father's assistant. On a visit to relatives in Ireland, she met George Boole, the English mathematician and logician, who was 17 years her senior, and he became her tutor. They married in 1855, following the death of her father, and had five daughters. They lived in a suburb of Cork, where Boole was appointed the first professor of mathematics at Queen's College (now University College Cork). Mary helped edit her husband's most famous book, The Laws of Thought. After he died, she returned to England with her children and was appointed librarian at Queen's College, London. She also tutored her daughters and other private pupils in math. At age 50, she began writing books and articles on her creative theories of teaching math and science to children, including Logic Taught by Love (1889), The Preparation of the Child for Science (1904), and Philosophy and Fun of Algebra (1909).
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