Accounts of the lives of child prodigies offer a useful source of insights into the circumstances in which a few children develop into the kinds of adults who are capable of impressive achievements. The evidence helps answer some questions concerning the causes of exceptionality, and raises further queries. This chapter begins by describing the early lives of two child prodigies, with the aim of conveying something of the manner in which progress is made by particular individual children. The two individuals whose childhoods I discuss are an English engineer, George Parker Bidder, and an American mathematician, Norbert Wiener.
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