Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
Marie Curie: A Life (1995)
by Susan Quinn
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0201887940, Paperback)
One hundred years ago, Marie Curie discovered radioactivity, for which she won the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911 she won an unprecedented second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, for isolating new radioactive elements. Despite these achievements, or perhaps because of her fame, she has remained a saintly, unapproachable genius. From family documents and a private journal only recently made available, Susan Quinn at last tells the full human story. From the stubborn sixteen-year-old studying science at night while working as a governess, to her romance and scientific partnership with Pierre Curiean extraordinary marriage of equalswe feel her defeats as well as her successes: her rejection by the French Academy, her unbearable grief at Pierre’s untimely and gruesome death, and her retreat into a love affair with a married fellow scientist, causing a scandal which almost cost her the second Nobel Prize. In Susan Quinn’s fully dimensional portrait, we come at last to know this complicated, passionate, brilliant woman.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:18 -0400)
In this stunning and richly textured new biography, Susan Quinn presents us with a far more complicated picture of the woman we thought we knew. Drawing on family documents, Quinn sheds new light on the tragic losses and patriotic passion that infused Marie Sklodowska Curie's early years in Poland. And through access to Marie Curie's journal, closed to researchers until 1990, we hear in her own words of the intimacy and joy of her marriage to Pierre Curie and the depth of her despair at his premature death. The image of Marie Curie as the grieving widow, attired always in black, is familiar to many of us. Much less well known is the affair with a married colleague that helped her recover from her loss. The testimonials of friends, hitherto unavailable, lend this love story a sometimes painful immediacy. Marie Curie's public triumphs are well known: she was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize and one of the few people, to date, to receive a second. Unknown or barely known are the defeats she suffered: her rejection by the French Academy and her public humiliation at the hands of the French press over her love affair. As a scientist, Marie Curie has always been associated with the discovery of radium and polonium. But in fact more important than her work in isolating new elements was her idea that radioactivity was "an atomic process." Susan Quinn's biography provides a closer look at Marie Curie's work, and at the discoveries that led up to it and flowed from it. We come away understanding that Marie Curie was important but not singular: one of a small group of brilliant scientists whose combined efforts brought us to our current understanding of the material universe.
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.