Einstein's first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić was a brilliant physicist in her own right and may have contributed to his theory on relativity.
October 20, 1986
I smoothed the wrinkles on my freshly pressed white blouse, flattened the bow encircling my collar, and tucked back a stray hair into my tightly wound chignon. The humid walk through the foggy Zurich streets to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Campus played with my careful grooming. The stubborn refusal of my heavy, dark hair to stay fixed in place frustrated me. I wanted every detail of the day to be perfect.
On the evening of his first visit, Helene greeted him with a disgruntled, "Who simply appears on a classmate's doorstep uninvited?"
My comments: The novel is fiction and speculative when it comes to the amount of collaboration Einstein and his wife Mileva may have had in the first four paper he wrote in 1905, including the theory of relativity. Mileva was a physicist in her own right, and a mathematician. But now, there are historians and authors who are looking into how much Mileva did contribute to Einstein's work.
The author has done extensive research on the Einsteins, their meeting at university where Mileva was the only female in Einstein's physics class, his intense courtship of her, their marriage, their moving from one European university to the other during Einsteins rise to the top as a physicist and professor.
Readers might not want to believe that Einstein was at any time selfish with the praise for his research and dismissive of his wife, with whom he had close collaboration in their studies while there were university students, and who could have had serious input into his discoveries. Mileva is shown as gradually being marginalized by Einstein and relegated to simple housewife for him and their two children, this after she had lost her scientific career after an unplanned pregnancy while they were students forced her to give up school and her cherished dream of academics.
Historically, the marriage broke up close to the height of Einstein's career. Part of the divorce agreement was that Mileva would get the proceeds from any Nobel Prize coming from Einstein's work in the future. It's hard to believe he would agree to give that up unless his wife had very well contributed to his work, though unacknowledged and unrecognized.
Recommendation: A fascinating history of the facts of the Einsteins' lives, their marriage, his success, and an intriguing guess at what might have been different for her and for women scientists that came after, if his first wife Mileva had been recognized, even in a footnote, in any of the papers Einstein published in 1905.
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