Marie Curie and Her Daughters

Marie Curie and Her DaughtersExcellentAn immensely readable biography of the Curie family Had me engrossed from start to end Talks not just about the people but also the history of world science in the first half of the 20th century Most recommended. Before reading this book, I had very limited knowledge about Marie Curie I knew that she and her husband were both scientists I knew she was a woman pioneer with it came to science I knew she did a lot of important work with radium I knew that a lot of her research was the basis for a lot of the radiation treatments that are still used today to treat things like cancer That s about all I knew so it was really interesting to read this book in order to get a better idea of the impact that Marie Curie had as well as who she was as a person.This book draws a lot on correspondence between Marie Curie and her daughters, one of which became a famous scientist in her own right, which is pretty cool Although the title is Marie Curie and Her Daughters, the book really focuses on Marie Curie, mostly in her latter years after she had already become famous for her work, which was just fine with me Curie was truly fascinating and this book definitely exemplifies this She fully dedicated herself to science in a world that wasn t really open to her Women scientists were few and far between back in the day.One thing that really intrigued me about the book is how ahead of her time Curie was There are a couple of pictures of Curie in the book at different conferences and meeting other important people and they are all with men She really was one of the only women in her field, which is really crazy to think about She definitely paved the way for a lot of women that came after her Also, I thought it was sort of interesting how the public, especially the French public in the book seemed to like and dislike her at different times throughout her life Now France seems all about claiming her as one of their own, even though she was born in Poland This really illustrates how things can change relatively quickly with time.This book didn t necessarily satisfy everything that I wanted to know about Marie Curie It s fairly short and as I said earlier, it only covers the latter half of her life However, the book definitely whet my appetite to go out and readabout her I try to read a couple of non fiction books every month, I enjoy biographies and travel books I was delighted to receive a copy of Marie Curie and her Daughters by Shelley Emling through my letter box a few weeks ago The book will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on 20 September 2012.Science has never really been my thing At school I really struggled with physics and chemistry and was much happier in English Language or History classes My mind is not structured enough to understand how science works, I m a bit of a day dreamer and prefer using my imagination rather than learning facts, figures and formula Of course I knew who Marie Curie was, her great achievements, her contribution to science, to medical advances and impact on the world, but other than that, I really had very little idea about her life.Shelley Emling has based this book on Marie Curie s relationship with her two daughers Irene and Eve The book begins after the early death of Pierre Curie, when Marie is left to carry on the work that they started as a couple and to bring up her two small daughters alone Emling has concentrated her book on the correspondence between Marie and her daughters She was not an overly protective mother, nor did she hesitate to spend time away from her daughters, yet this did not weaken their relationship Marie was a caring and loving mother, who encouraged her daughters to become individuals, to achieve what the wanted to and to become famous and influential women in their own rights.Marie Curie found an advocate in Missy Meloney, an American journalist who campaigned in the USA on behalf on Marie Missy was able to rally support from wealthy and important US women, who in turn raised money so that Marie could continue with her important and ground breaking research It says a lot about Marie Curie and her husband that although they discovered radium and it s remarkable properties, they made the decision not to profit from it It was their belief that their discovery should be used for the greater masses and for the advancement of medical treatment It was because of these decisions that Marie had to depend on donations to carry out her work, and that she had to carry out tours of the States to make herself known.Shelley Emling has written a book that is very readable, concentratingon Marie Curie s private life and her relationship with her family than on the scientific details that could have bogged down the story for me.Marie Curie is portrayed as a woman of integrity, strong beliefs and views, yet she is not painted as a saint like figure in any way She had her foibles that only add to her humanity.I was very impressed by Emling s writing style she has told the story of three extraordinary women who were way ahead of their time in an interesting and very readable manner. It is hard to believe that any one could take the life stories of one of the most famous female scientists in the world and her two daughters, who were accomplished in their own right, and make it barely readable Yet that s exactly what happened here The author s first wrong turn was to start the narrative sometime after Pierre, Marie s husband, had died in an accident I get it, the book is called, Marie and Her Daughters, not Marie and Pierre and Their Daughters But by starting the story at that point, it seems a lot of it goes untold What was the Curies marriage like Were Marie s pregnancies easy How were the girls as babies How did the loss of Pierre affect his daughters How did Marie handle becoming a widow at a young age These are not questions Emler is interested by, unfortunately Then there s the matter of her pedestrian prose It was a struggle to finish this book I learned some interesting facts about Marie Curie and her daughters I just wish the journey had been a lotenjoyable. There was much disagreement in my book club over whether or not this was a good book I very much enjoyed it and did not feel it was poorly written Some book club members noted some factual discrepencies that I am not sure about Even if there are mistakes, though, I very much enjoyed seeing the human side of Marie Curie We so often think of her as solely a super scientist which she was , and don t know anything about the rest of her life I was fascinated with both her parenting sending difficult math problems through the mail during her frequent separations from her daughters and learningabout radiation and radioactivity I vaguely knew that both she and one of her daughters won Nobel Prizes, but did not understand how amazing her family and close colleagues were I was also interested in the long view of scientific research at the time and the assertion towards the end of the book that scientists have to provide results quickly nowadays, and research like the Curies would be unlikely to happen today Something to think about I would have liked to learnabout Eve Curie, who seems almost like an afterthought in this book There aren t even any photos of her as an adult despite her high profile career She sounds like a very interesting woman who was close to her family despite being the non scientist black sheep This book got me, a non scientist,interested in the Curies I am also eager to seek out Eve Curie s books, which I understand are difficult to find. I wish I could give this a higher rating When I was in high school I read with great interest the book by Evgrandaughtere Curie which was the Biography of her mother Madame Curie I was so impressed with her drive and her interest in excelling and finding great scientific discoveries 65 This book revealed the hidden side of the Marie Curie, and her affair with a younger married man whidh dres the enmity of the French establishment and caused great international disfavor It was only America who treated this shy woneb who was instrumental in the discovery of radiation and nuclear fission Marie Curie was deteremined to live life the way she wanted to and she passed that trait on to her two girls Irene followed her mother into the scientific field and also won award Eve, set off in a different direction as a foreign correspondent and moved on to humanitarian mizzionz I felt rather cheated in this book because instead of bringing me up to speed with a short recap of the birth of the girls, and the Marie and Pierre story, it plunged right into the international war time bickering and anger and changed my whole opinion of Marie Curie She certainly was a driven women and so were her daughters This book was written by Shelley E mling using the private letters, and unpublished papers and an interview with her granddaughter Helene Langevin Joliot The world will forever be changed by these scientific discoveries and the drive behind the women Interesting and probably as true as letters can make it but I wanted to know the facts before all the the details of the lifestyle, to me that would have made it a good book. Not a beautifully written book, but an interesting and important one as it contains letters between Curie and her daughters that have never been used in the many biographies of Curie and were translated into English for the purpose of using in this book Emling also interviews Curie s granddaughter for this book as well The book focuses on the story of Curie after winning her two Nobel prizes when she is trying to establish her Radium Institute and replenish her supply of uranium, both very costly In meeting the American journalist Missy Meloney, Curie found an advocate for her cause Meloney brought Curie to America on a fundraising tour and also to use her, in a sense, to promote women s suffrage in the U.S As the Curies had sworn to never patent their process, they never made any money from their discoveries, believing that science belonged to the public Meloney thought it was odd at the time it is hard to imagine anyone doing that today. Published To Widespread Acclaim, In Marie Curie And Her Daughters, Science Writer Shelley Emling Shows That Far From A Shy Introvert Toiling Away In Her Laboratory, The Famed Scientist And Two Time Nobel Prize Winner Was Nothing Short Of An Iconoclast Emling Draws On Personal Letters Released By Curie S Only Granddaughter To Show How Marie Influenced Her Daughters Yet Let Them Blaze Their Own Paths Irene Followed Her Mother S Footsteps Into Science And Was Instrumental In The Discovery Of Nuclear Fission Eve Traveled The World As A Foreign Correspondent And Then Moved On To Humanitarian Missions Emling Also Shows How Curie, Following World War I, Turned To America For Help Few People Know About Curie S Close Friendship With American Journalist Missy Meloney, Who Arranged Speaking Tours Across The Country For Marie, Eve, And Irene Months On The Road, Charming Audiences Both Large And Small, Endeared The Curies To American Women And Established A Lifelong Relationship With The United States That Formed One Of The Strongest Connections Of Marie S Life Factually Rich, Personal, And Original, This Is An Engrossing Story About The Most Famous Woman In Science That Rips The Cover Off The Myth And Reveals The Real Person, Friend, And Mother Behind It I call this a supplemental biography that continues the story of Marie s life with her daughters and grandchildren s lives and tremendous contributions in science and humanitarian efforts Marie Curie has been one of my heroes since reading daughter Eve s biography of her mother 50 years ago This book picks up after Marie s famous discoveries, and delves into her affair with her deceased husband s brilliant student Paul Langevin, her heroic work providing x rays during World War I, her tour of the United States to raise money to continue her work and her continued research and mentoring in spite of serious health problems It lives up to its title by revealing the relationship with her daughters, the like talented Irene and the artistic Eve I am impressed all theby not just one, but seven members of this incredible family, and now count all of them as heroes My only complaint is that no picture of Eve was included in the illustrations. I ve read several biographies of Marie Curie over the past 50 plus years Generally they tell of her hard work leading up to winning the Noble Prize in Physics in 1903 and the Noble Prize in Chemistry in 1911 Her life after that time is then summed up in a final chapter without much detail This book is primarily focused on the last 25 years of her life she died in 1934 and the lives of her daughters Ms Emling tells a number of interesting stories about the 3 women, but there is no big story arc All members of the Curie family seem to have been very bright and had a lot of success in life The ones who worked with radioactive materials had many health problems and died in their 50 s and 60 s Marie s daughter Eve, whose interest and skills were in music and writing, lived to be 102 A lesson there

Shelley Emling has been a journalist for 20 years She was born in Missouri Later she grew up in Dallas, Texas She went to the University of Texas and started her journalism career at UPI.Shelley is the author of two books Your Guide to Retiring in Mexico, and most recently, The Fossil Hunter, published by Macmillan in 2009 about paleontologist Mary Anning, whom Shelley had learned of while on

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  • Paperback
  • 248 pages
  • Marie Curie and Her Daughters
  • Shelley Emling
  • English
  • 19 October 2018
  • 9781137278364

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