Albert Einstein Vented to Marie Curie About Her Haters In Great 1911 Letter
Haters to the left.
In case you needed a reminder that trolls have been around and haunting awesome women since long before the Internet, look no further than a letter Albert Einstein wrote to Marie Curie in 1911. He’s also got some good advice, though one that obviously comes from a world pre-twitter: “If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it to the reptile for whom it has been fabricated.”
Some context, via Raw Story:
The treatment to which Einstein referred included the fact that the French Academy of Sciences denied her application for a seat, possibly because of rumors that she was Jewish — or because she was having an affair with a married man, the physicist Paul Langevin.
Highly esteemed Mrs. Curie,
Do not laugh at me for writing you without having anything sensible to say. But I am so enraged by the base manner in which the public is presently daring to concern itself with you that I absolutely must give vent to this feeling. However, I am convinced that you consistently despise this rabble, whether it obsequiously lavishes respect on you or whether it attempts to satiate its lust for sensationalism! I am impelled to tell you how much I have come to admire your intellect, your drive, and your honesty, and that I consider myself lucky to have made your personal acquaintance in Brussels. Anyone who does not number among these reptiles is certainly happy, now as before, that we have such personages among us as you, and Langevin too, real people with whom one feels privileged to be in contact. If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it to the reptile for whom it has been fabricated.
With most amicable regards to you, Langevin, and Perrin, yours very truly,
And the postcript’s pretty amazing, too:
PS I have determined the statistical law of motion of the diatomic molecule in Planck’s radiation field by means of a comical witticism, naturally under the constraint that the structure’s motion follows the laws of standard mechanics. My hope that this law is valid in reality is very small, though.
Words and phrases we need to use more often: “Rabble,” “hogwash,” “give vent to this feeling.”
Now I’d just like the letter Curie sent back, please.
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