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Madame Curie: A Biography

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Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867–1934) was the first woman scientist to win worldwide acclaim and was, indeed, one of the great scientists of the twentieth century. Written by Curie’s daughter, the renowned international activist Eve Curie, this biography chronicles Curie’s legendary achievements in science, including her pioneering efforts in the study of radioactivity and Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867–1934) was the first woman scientist to win worldwide acclaim and was, indeed, one of the great scientists of the twentieth century. Written by Curie’s daughter, the renowned international activist Eve Curie, this biography chronicles Curie’s legendary achievements in science, including her pioneering efforts in the study of radioactivity and her two Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry. It also spotlights her remarkable life, from her childhood in Poland, to her storybook Parisian marriage to fellow scientist Pierre Curie, to her tragic death from the very radium that brought her fame. Now updated with an eloquent, rousing introduction by best-selling author Natalie Angier, this timeless biography celebrates an astonishing mind and a extraordinary woman’s life.


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Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867–1934) was the first woman scientist to win worldwide acclaim and was, indeed, one of the great scientists of the twentieth century. Written by Curie’s daughter, the renowned international activist Eve Curie, this biography chronicles Curie’s legendary achievements in science, including her pioneering efforts in the study of radioactivity and Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867–1934) was the first woman scientist to win worldwide acclaim and was, indeed, one of the great scientists of the twentieth century. Written by Curie’s daughter, the renowned international activist Eve Curie, this biography chronicles Curie’s legendary achievements in science, including her pioneering efforts in the study of radioactivity and her two Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry. It also spotlights her remarkable life, from her childhood in Poland, to her storybook Parisian marriage to fellow scientist Pierre Curie, to her tragic death from the very radium that brought her fame. Now updated with an eloquent, rousing introduction by best-selling author Natalie Angier, this timeless biography celebrates an astonishing mind and a extraordinary woman’s life.

30 review for Madame Curie: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I must have taken this out of the library ten times as I was growing up.. My mother loved biography, especially biographies of great women, and recommended this to me as a sixth grader, at a time when the world was saying no to me a lot. Girls couldn't grow up to be jockeys. No you can't take print shop, you don't want to dirty your hands, little lady. Here's cooking and sewing class. Here's Cress Delahanty and Cherry Ames, Student Nurse. The biography of Marie Curie by her daughter Eve was one I must have taken this out of the library ten times as I was growing up.. My mother loved biography, especially biographies of great women, and recommended this to me as a sixth grader, at a time when the world was saying no to me a lot. Girls couldn't grow up to be jockeys. No you can't take print shop, you don't want to dirty your hands, little lady. Here's cooking and sewing class. Here's Cress Delahanty and Cherry Ames, Student Nurse. The biography of Marie Curie by her daughter Eve was one of my favorites, the story of a great scientist and the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and she won it twice, once in Physics and once in Chemistry. I learned that exceptional women didn't worry about what people told them they could not do, they used their intelligence and their energy and changed the world. There is a gorgeous illustrated book about the love affair between Pierre and Marie Curie called "Radioactive" by Lauren Redniss, for those who become hooked on Curie and her story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    A rare find. I have a vague memory of salvaging this 1959 Pocket Book edition from my parents' garage sale box 14 years ago; while cleaning out my closet a few weeks ago, I almost tossed it...I’m not sure what made me change my mind and actually start to read the musty pocketbook with browned pages, a broken spine, and too-small print. I’m glad I did; it is, quite simply, an extraordinary story, beautifully written. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I knew nothing about Marie Curie before A rare find. I have a vague memory of salvaging this 1959 Pocket Book edition from my parents' garage sale box 14 years ago; while cleaning out my closet a few weeks ago, I almost tossed it...I’m not sure what made me change my mind and actually start to read the musty pocketbook with browned pages, a broken spine, and too-small print. I’m glad I did; it is, quite simply, an extraordinary story, beautifully written. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I knew nothing about Marie Curie before reading this book except perhaps the most basic Trivial Pursuit knowledge, vaguely remembered--she and her husband were scientists (right?), I think they may have won the Nobel Prize (right?), something about radioactivity or something...? This book tells the story, from the age of five, of a poor young Polish girl named Marya Sklodovska (better known by her adopted French first name, Marie, and her married name, Curie) who scraped together enough money by working as a governess first to help her elder sister Bronya through medical school in Paris, then to finally join her and continue her own studies, at the Sorbonne. (Women were not permitted to study at the university level in Russian-occupied Poland.) Marya had every intent of returning to her homeland to continue to live and work in solidarity with the fomenting revolution against the Russian oppressors. But, after nearly a year of entreaty and almost against Marya’s will, a man named Pierre Curie--a renowned scientist who had become a close friend and fallen in love with her--persuaded her to stay in Paris to continue her scientific work, to be his partner in science and in marriage (in that order). In the early months of her independent doctoral research studying the radioactive properties of materials containing uranium, Marie observed unexepected behaviors; she soon became convinced of the existence of another, more highly radioactive, substance. Her husband joined her as a much-needed collaborator. The rest is, most certainly, history: the discovery and subsequent isolation of the elements Polonium and Radium, and the discovery that Radium could be used to treat cancer. Astonishingly, although the Curies had struggled for years with meager finances and poor working conditions, they refused to apply for the patent that would have assured them a fortune--because it was not "in the scientific spirit." Written by her youngest daughter, Eve (who, incidentally, I discovered, died just a few months ago at the age of 102), the story captures a life of intense passions, intense loves, and intense joys--which were practically inseparable from equally intense sorrows, sacrifices, and suffering. It is the kind of life you have to have extraordinary courage to live out. In the truest sense of the word, Marie Curie expended herself, all of herself.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Smiley

    I thought I would never finish reading this wonderful biography depicting Mme. Curie's life, work and character as one of the great lady scientists in 20th century and beyond. I think it is a must read one for those interested to know her intimately since it was written objectively and sometimes movingly by her daughter whose account is still readable and inspiring. Reading it off and on due to my ongoing work and stopped at Chapter XVIII APRIL 19, 1906, I resumed reading it last week and I thought I would never finish reading this wonderful biography depicting Mme. Curie's life, work and character as one of the great lady scientists in 20th century and beyond. I think it is a must read one for those interested to know her intimately since it was written objectively and sometimes movingly by her daughter whose account is still readable and inspiring. Reading it off and on due to my ongoing work and stopped at Chapter XVIII APRIL 19, 1906, I resumed reading it last week and finally made it, one of my reading missions completed. I am not sure if we can still find its reprinted editions in bookstores nowadays; however, we can borrow a copy to read from any good public or university library in any city in the world. Moreover, this biography would not disappoint us because there are innumerable, rare balck-and-white photographs related to her life, family and work. I think I would write more when I have time on her as a woman scientist of genius from Poland, the first famous lady scholar I have known and admired since my early teens more than five decades ago. As for her greatness famously awarded by her two Nobel Prizes, first in Physics (shared with her husband) in 1903 and second in Chemistry in 1911, the first lady and still the only one Nobel lady laureate, in the world, who has since been awarded the prestigious two Prizes. Therefore, her biography has sometime reminded me of the quote by William Shakespeare in his Twelfth Night, that is, ''Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." Indeed, I think her success acquired by sheer willingness, love of physics and chemistry as well as academic charisma eventually proved that she has definitely reached unequal supremacy in her two scientific fields of study and research in which few or none could surpass her, a respectfully brilliant lady scientist second to none in the world.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Helen (Helena/Nell)

    I have read an old copy of this book, not the one in the picture located by GoodReads. It is a Heinemann hardback, originally produced (a translation from the French) in 1938, and reprinted many times until the one in my possession, which is on thin discoloured paper and dated 1947. I knew a little about the legend: the Marie Curie who appeared in passing in a reading book at primary school, and perhaps dimly in a black and white film seen somewhere or other. I read this because (as a small I have read an old copy of this book, not the one in the picture located by GoodReads. It is a Heinemann hardback, originally produced (a translation from the French) in 1938, and reprinted many times until the one in my possession, which is on thin discoloured paper and dated 1947. I knew a little about the legend: the Marie Curie who appeared in passing in a reading book at primary school, and perhaps dimly in a black and white film seen somewhere or other. I read this because (as a small publisher) I'm about to bring out a pamphlet of light-verse poems by Geoff Lander about great scientists, and Marie Curie is one of them. I had no IDEA. Of course she was famous for her astonishing discoveries, and radium forever linked with her name. But she was extraordinary. Extraordinary. She is now my official all-time hero. She loved work. She hated fame. And wealth. And fuss. She was devoted to her children, and family, and students. She feared the boring tedium of formal education and pioneered an inspirational form of home education, for as long as she could get away with it. Her older little girl quickly learned to love physics. I mean love. I mean physics! (Irene was also a Nobel prize winner later.) The younger daughter wrote this biography --and it is a beautifully written, compelling and utterly humbling book. Marie Curie was skilled in five languages. She 'knew by heart thousands of verses - in French, German, Russian, English or Polish'. She loved plants and gardens and swimming and walking and cycling, and (above all) working in a laboratory. The precision of experiments was a joy to her. She lost a great deal and won a great deal. Success was hers. But she didn't want to be an example to other women. She wanted them 'to have a simple family life and some work that will interest them'. She stalwartly resisted the idea that she would accrue wealth from her invaluable discoveries. She turned down as many honours as she accepted. Humanity, she said, 'needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit'. She was absolutely opposed to the cult of personality. For her (as for her husband and co-worker Pierre, who died decades before her) it was all about the work, not the individuals. She silenced one journalist with the remark: 'In science we must be interested in things, not in persons,' and she repeated this statement in a lecture many years later. She had, her daughter says, 'an incurable inaptitude for vanity'. An incurable inaptitude. What could be better? Towards the end of her life, she visited America with her two daughters, where she was much feted. She went because they were to give her much-needed radium for her research work in Paris. She, who so hated fuss, had become an international star. 'The years had taught her that the public, and even the governments, did not know how to be interested in things except through persons. Whether she wished to do so or not, she had to use her prestige to honour and enrich science - to 'dignify' it as the Americans said - and she allowed her own legend to be the agent of propaganda for a cause which was dear to her.' And yet she 'did not succeed in making her pact with fame.' On her travels she witnessed another international star arriving on a station platform in Berlin. It was the famous boxer Dempsey who had been on the same train as herself. The crowd was bustling and shouting waiting to meet him. She took a good look at him: 'He looked quite content. After all, is there much difference between acclaiming Dempsey and acclaiming me? It seems to me that the mere fact of acclaiming in this way has in itself something not to be commended, whatever may be the object of the manifestation. I don't see, nevertheless, just how one ought to proceed, nor to what degree it is permissible to confound the person with the idea that person represents ....' I don't see it either. But in the age of personality at all costs, it raises a central issue. Marie Curie would never in a million years have appeared on a chat show. She would have been far too busy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shirleen

    Marie Curie is someone I greatly admire for her dedication to science, her incredible work ethic, her total disdain for material wealth, her love of her children, her love affair with her husband, her humility in spite of great honors, her dedication to help mankind. Additionally, I loved reading her letters to friends and family members. This book taught me that to excel in an area many times means you have to dedicate much of your life to whatever that interest is - in other words, success Marie Curie is someone I greatly admire for her dedication to science, her incredible work ethic, her total disdain for material wealth, her love of her children, her love affair with her husband, her humility in spite of great honors, her dedication to help mankind. Additionally, I loved reading her letters to friends and family members. This book taught me that to excel in an area many times means you have to dedicate much of your life to whatever that interest is - in other words, success comes at great cost in health, time, energy, personal interests, etc. Marie Curie excelled in science because she loved it. She and her beloved physicist husband Pierre Curie, with no complaints, worked in a shed so dilapidated that not even a workman would work in it. It was here that radium was first extracted from pitchblend and the 20th century world was changed forever. This is an amazing biography written by Marie Curie's daughter Eve. Quote from Einstein: "Marie Curie is of all celebrated beings, the only one who fame has not corrupted"......

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Skala

    I really enjoyed this novel. I didn't know who Marie Curie was and this book thoroughly described her. Marie was a very strong and independent character in the novel. I looked up to that greatly. She would do whatever she needed to get her studying done, and studying always came first. Her relationship with Pierre warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. They were so in love but it broke my heart when they couldn't even afford to buy ores to make the radium. Marie was also very passionate I really enjoyed this novel. I didn't know who Marie Curie was and this book thoroughly described her. Marie was a very strong and independent character in the novel. I looked up to that greatly. She would do whatever she needed to get her studying done, and studying always came first. Her relationship with Pierre warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. They were so in love but it broke my heart when they couldn't even afford to buy ores to make the radium. Marie was also very passionate about her family and hometown, Poland. She would step up to the plate whenever she needed to and even worked as a nanny so her older sister, Bronya could get an education. Marie Curie not only was she passionate about her family but also with her daughter. She was so motherly and nurturing with her. I admired how dedicated she was for her science studies. Marie would help out everywhere around her. During the WWI, she dedicated helping the wounded people by going to different places with an x ray machine to try to help. I truly enjoyed this book and I would recommend this book to everyone. This book would appeal to everyone not just a specific group.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Margulis

    Though I love reading memoirs to see how people construct and tell the story of their lives, I realized recently that I have not read many biographies. Looking for a place to start, I saw this biography of Marie Curie listed among the top ten science biographies ever written. That assessment was spot on. This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. Eve Curie gets so close to her characters and puts us so squarely in Marie Curie's point of view that the book reads like a novel. Marie Though I love reading memoirs to see how people construct and tell the story of their lives, I realized recently that I have not read many biographies. Looking for a place to start, I saw this biography of Marie Curie listed among the top ten science biographies ever written. That assessment was spot on. This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. Eve Curie gets so close to her characters and puts us so squarely in Marie Curie's point of view that the book reads like a novel. Marie Curie's life--and the hardships she endured--are fascinating. The book was published three years after her mother's death but I wonder how long it took Eve Curie to write. I can only surmise that she had the idea for a biography of her mother before Marie Curie died as amassing this wealth of information in this book and making it so readable and compelling must have taken longer than three years. Eve's sister Irène won a Nobel Prize. What a tremendously gifted family. I plan to re-read this book in French, the language in which it was originally published.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ellee

    Eve Curie tried hard to depict her mother's life and did a pretty good job of it, but there's just too much hero-worship for my taste in a biography. I like them to be more objective.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Schu

    This was such a beautiful book. Eve Curie had a wonderful gift of language as depicted in her loving tribute to her mother. Marie and Pierre Curie were remarkable individuals with a respectful relationship of equality. I found them to be inspiring with their humble givings to science, their aptitude and passion for physics, and how they raised their daughters. I found myself awed by Madame Curie's ceaseless energy for caring for her family after losing her husband and continuing with her This was such a beautiful book. Eve Curie had a wonderful gift of language as depicted in her loving tribute to her mother. Marie and Pierre Curie were remarkable individuals with a respectful relationship of equality. I found them to be inspiring with their humble givings to science, their aptitude and passion for physics, and how they raised their daughters. I found myself awed by Madame Curie's ceaseless energy for caring for her family after losing her husband and continuing with her research in radium and radioactivity. She was such a passionate individual who cared greatly for science, family, and country. Moreover, I revered her modesty, she wasn't vain about her knowledge and she spoke in a matter of fact way without belittling others. One can learn so much about this remarkable woman and find themselves inspired by her strength, determination, and courage.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have Opinions. None of which reflect on the eventful life of Marie Curie, all of which are related to the expectations of a reader in 2018. Suffice to say: if you are only going to read one book on Marie Curie and her science (I have read a few) choose a different one, for a more full picture of the context and importance of her discoveries as well as a more well-rounded image of Marie herself. Eve, as makes sense for her time and place, wrote a sort of extended eulogy that attempted to make I have Opinions. None of which reflect on the eventful life of Marie Curie, all of which are related to the expectations of a reader in 2018. Suffice to say: if you are only going to read one book on Marie Curie and her science (I have read a few) choose a different one, for a more full picture of the context and importance of her discoveries as well as a more well-rounded image of Marie herself. Eve, as makes sense for her time and place, wrote a sort of extended eulogy that attempted to make her mother always beautiful and perfect; in the process, she also made her a little boring. A good read perhaps for those who like their heroes perfect, and good for researchers and completists, but a modern reader who just wants an introduction should probably pick something different.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    I've always been curious about Marie Curie and her life. She seems to be the sole woman who shows up in lists of historical science greats, and she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for her (and her husband's) discovery of radium. This biography is written by her daughter, Eva Curie. It's important to know this because there's a lot of hero-worship (or in this case, mother-worship) in the book. Eva Curie loved her mother and admired her tremendously with very good reason. I'm sure Marie I've always been curious about Marie Curie and her life. She seems to be the sole woman who shows up in lists of historical science greats, and she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for her (and her husband's) discovery of radium. This biography is written by her daughter, Eva Curie. It's important to know this because there's a lot of hero-worship (or in this case, mother-worship) in the book. Eva Curie loved her mother and admired her tremendously with very good reason. I'm sure Marie Curie had personal weakness and faults, but you won't hear about them in this book. That was okay with me, though, because the book gives something else: a close and tender view of a great mind and scientist who was also a loving mother and wife. Eva Curie is a good writer, and she held my interest the entire time. I love reading about people like Marie Curie who have so much passion for what they do. To read about her struggles and persistence is inspiring. She battled poverty, political turmoil, gender expectations, health problems, the violent and unexpected death of her husband, a lack of financial and facility support for her important work, and so many other hardships. Any one of these things would have deterred most anyone else, and yet she persisted to the benefit of all the rest of us.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    What a wonderful tribute to her mother! This biography of Madame Curie, written soon after her death by her youngest daughter, is lively, highly engaging, and a lovely book. The collection of personal letters used to give voice to Madame Curie's personal thoughts combined with all the personal stories that family and friends were willing to share make this extremely readable. I knew little of Madame Curie's personal story and had forgotten that her husband died so early in their lives (and with What a wonderful tribute to her mother! This biography of Madame Curie, written soon after her death by her youngest daughter, is lively, highly engaging, and a lovely book. The collection of personal letters used to give voice to Madame Curie's personal thoughts combined with all the personal stories that family and friends were willing to share make this extremely readable. I knew little of Madame Curie's personal story and had forgotten that her husband died so early in their lives (and with such tragedy). I have no idea if this book has much to add to general knowledge of the scientists, but I found it both enlightening and heartwarming. Highly recommended for readers of biographies.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mihaela Froehlich

    Loved every single page of this book. At times, I could identify with Marie, at time with her father and at time with her daughter. The book has painted a life of a scientist through eyes of those who knew her and aboundance of letters and papers she and those who were in her circle left behind. She was made real in this book. I have read some comments to the contrary but I think that dissonance comes from understanding the culture and time she comes from. She needs to be looked through the Loved every single page of this book. At times, I could identify with Marie, at time with her father and at time with her daughter. The book has painted a life of a scientist through eyes of those who knew her and aboundance of letters and papers she and those who were in her circle left behind. She was made real in this book. I have read some comments to the contrary but I think that dissonance comes from understanding the culture and time she comes from. She needs to be looked through the lense of that and not from the place of comfortable safe living in 2018.

  14. 5 out of 5

    María José

    What a wonderful book and such a extraordinary woman!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maria Zarpellon

    It took me twenty years to find a copy of this book which my school teacher recommended to me when I was about twelve. In this intimate and delicate portrait of a mother by her daughter, Marie Curie's unordinary determination and intense dedication to science (until her very last days) are even more remarkable than her brilliance and sharp mind. Her story demonstrates that passion is crucial to success. Easily one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. I wish I had read it before!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Elkins

    I've always known about Madame Curie to a small extent, a great scientist, the discoverer of Radium, but the other day I happened upon the old 1940s movie with Greer Garson titled "Madame Curie" and I watched it. I noticed before it began that it was based on the book written by her daughter Eve in the 1930s. I loved the movie and was so moved by this woman's life, that I just had to read that book, so I immediately ordered it. This is one of, if not THE best biographies I've ever read, and I've I've always known about Madame Curie to a small extent, a great scientist, the discoverer of Radium, but the other day I happened upon the old 1940s movie with Greer Garson titled "Madame Curie" and I watched it. I noticed before it began that it was based on the book written by her daughter Eve in the 1930s. I loved the movie and was so moved by this woman's life, that I just had to read that book, so I immediately ordered it. This is one of, if not THE best biographies I've ever read, and I've read many. It not only told about the scientist, it also told about her personal life. I was absolutely fascinated that from her beginnings of being born and raised in Russian oppressed Poland, daughter of two intellectuals that were nonetheless forced into menial teaching jobs, they were poor, the Polish people were not allowed to learn their history or speak their language. Even so, her parents made sure that she and her siblings received a high level of education by actually sneaking around to do so, in hiding. Her eldest sister wanted to be a doctor, women could not go to a university in Poland, teen aged Marie worked as a governess and helped her sister go to France to medical school. After she graduated, Marie went to France to the famous university there. From these meager beginnings, she continued to endure hardships, fainting from lack of food, living in poor conditions, but she continued on. She met and married her husband, also a scientist, who lo and behold, respected her and encouraged her and admired her for her gift of intelligence and endurance. They had a wonderful life and loved each other greatly. However, tragedy stuck and she was left alone to raise her small children. But she did and she was amazingly a good mother all the while being a great scientist. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize and the only person at that time to win 2 Nobel Prizes, one in Physics, one in chemistry. She received her Phd. In WW1 she unselfishly put her lab work on hold and contributed to the war effort by putting together the first portable x-ray machines carried by car and also installed many x-ray machines in hundreds of hospitals, and worked with them in the field. She often drove herself with these machines to the battle fronts. She did this for 4 years. I took away from this biography a great respect and admiration for this woman of genius, who never gave up at and accomplished so very much in a time where women hardly ever even went to college. It just amazes me. Another amazing thing is, she could have been a wealthy woman after the discovery of Radium if she had only put a patent on it. But she refused to do this because she said that was not in the scientific spirit. She always avoided wealth and was really uncomfortable receiving so much overwhelming fame. She never did what she did for fame, she only wanted, more than anything since she was a child, to be some good to the world. And she did. My most admired person in history. This book was not dry in the least. It was written so well and flowed like a novel. I was interested in it from the first word, to the last sentence when I cried. Her daughter Eve was amazing at giving a personal, and factual biography of her mother who she admired and loved so much. The book was written from going over letters to and from Madame Curie to many people, memories of people that knew her, her lectures, her speeches,and her memories (Eve and her other daughter Irene). Nothing was fictionalized or made more than what is was, it showed this great lady in a very human light. It had enough personal parts in it and just enough scientific subject in it to make it interesting to anyone. What a great woman, what a great story. I will read no other books on her, this is the most perfect book that could have been written about her. Who could have known her any better than her own daughter? What an inspiration!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tamhack

    This book was surprising to read just because I knew who Marie Curie was, that she discovered Radium and her work with it. But I didn't know her as a person. Her love and devotion to her husband, Pierre Curie, who they worked side by side. Her as a mother. How humble she was and devoted to her work as a pure scientist. Working for scientist for science sake. She won 2 Noble Prizes and was a director a lab and had positions and honors that women in a man's world was unheard of. She was very This book was surprising to read just because I knew who Marie Curie was, that she discovered Radium and her work with it. But I didn't know her as a person. Her love and devotion to her husband, Pierre Curie, who they worked side by side. Her as a mother. How humble she was and devoted to her work as a pure scientist. Working for scientist for science sake. She won 2 Noble Prizes and was a director a lab and had positions and honors that women in a man's world was unheard of. She was very passionate about her work, her home country (Poland) and her family. She was self-sacrificing- she worked as a nanny to give her older sister, Bronya who she was very close to, a chance to gain an education. From a young age she was gifted with a mind to memorize and learn and was very focused. She went about her life with humility, quietly working, without complaint. "She was proud but she was not resigned." "Her brain was so precise, her intelligence who marvelously clear, that no "Slavic" disorder intruded to corrupt her effort. She was supported by her will of iron, by a maniacal fast for perfection, and by an incredible stubbornness. Systematically, patiently, she attained each of the ends she set for herself: she passed first in the master's examination in physics in 1893 and sec on in the master's in mathematics in 1894." She decided to learn the French language perfectly... Of Pierre Curie: They had ..." one of the finest bonds that ever united man and woman. Tow hearts beat together, two bodies were united, and two minds of genius learned to think together. Marie could have married no other than this great physicist, than this wise and noble man. Pierre could have married no woman other than the fair, tender Polish girl, who could be childish or transcendent within the same few moments; for she was a friend and a wife, a lover and a a scientist.: " Pierre's existence tended toward one ideal only: to engage in scientific research at the side of the beloved woman who also lived for scientific research. Marie's was a harder life, because to the obsession of work was added the humble and tiring tasks of womankind (As I can fully empathize with Marie, as I had to stop this and run down to prepare a meal for the family. Yes, the woman always has 4 times the work and burdens as a men--but Marie was a good example of how to deal with this--she did it uncomplainingly and tried to perfect her duties as wife and mother.). She could no longer neglect material life, as she had done in the austere and careless days of her study at the Sorbonne; and her first purchase on their return from the holiday was a black account book with the great word EXPENSES printed in letters of gold on its cover." She was a devoted mother: " Marie was soon obliged to give up nursing on doctors orders--gut morning, noon, evening and night she changed, bathed, and dressed her daughter." " She had no unmeasured generosities and no whims..." During the WWI, she dedicated helping the wounded by going from place to place with a primative x-ray machine (Roentgen apparatus). " She was never to speak of the hardships and dangers to which she exposed herself during these four years. She spoke neither of her unfathomable fatigues, nor the risk of death, nor of the cruel effect of X rays and radium upon her damaged organism. She showed her working companions a careless and even gay face--gayer than it had ever been. The war was to tech her that good humor which is the finest mask of courage." She triumphed over cataracts.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Antaya

    This biography was a load of information straight to my head. This book was recommended to me by the school librarian. I would recommend this to those that love science, and want to learn more about an iconic woman who helped shape the world of science.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Spinster

    I recently watched a documentary on Marie Curie and remembered I'd bought an old biography on a whim - what's a few cents when it might be an interesting book about someone I know very little of, other than the part of Marie Curie being a famous Nobel winning scientist who died as a result of her work. So far many of my book purchases remain seated on the shelf, waiting to be read, but now I had the motivation to pick up Curie's biography and see beyond the details grazed in the documentary. I recently watched a documentary on Marie Curie and remembered I'd bought an old biography on a whim - what's a few cents when it might be an interesting book about someone I know very little of, other than the part of Marie Curie being a famous Nobel winning scientist who died as a result of her work. So far many of my book purchases remain seated on the shelf, waiting to be read, but now I had the motivation to pick up Curie's biography and see beyond the details grazed in the documentary. Biographies written by family members have always made me a little wary. They obviously have more insight to the subject's true self, their private personality, their soul, so to speak. They usually also care about the subject and their life more than an outsider and might feel the need to censor things to protect the subject, their reputation or other close people. Their views of events might also be blurred by love and affection and thereby get facts slightly altered. In some cases it can be a positive thing and I think it worked well in Madame Curie. Some (embarrassing) things I remembered from the documentary were barely hinted at in a couple of sentences, but I doubt Marie Curie would have wanted her biography disgraced by gossip anyways. Eve Curie writes beautifully about her mother, but sometimes it felt like she was going just a little too over the top with her praises. It was clearly difficult for her to juggle between the roles of a daughter and an author but she did fine most of the time. I feel like I really got to know Marie Curie better, a woman who revealed very little of herself in public. Also, apparently, in private. I don't know if it was the translation (from ~1938) or what, but I was infinitely amused by some tiny little details translated funny. Philadelphia became Filadelfia which i guess makes sense, but Grand Canyon becoming Grand cañon really doesn't. We have no 'ñ' in Finnish and I have no idea where that came from. Unless it was originally in the French text. Which makes little sense as well, to be honest. Still, hihgly amusing, as were the odd forgotten translations from old words. It's amazing how fast language evolves! I'm very glad I stumbled upon the book when I did, that I bought it and that I finally read it. I have so much more respect for Madame Curie now, not just as a scientist and a brilliant mind but as a multitasking workaholic. A recommendable read but probably hard to find these days.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alatheia Nielsen

    Madame Curie is all that a biography should be. Raw, inspiring and intimate. The book had me both laughing and in tears (both from sorrow and anger) multiple times. Every woman should read this book at some point in her life -- the sooner, the better.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Marie Curie was a genius and with the determination to teach herself in the unfamiliar topics known at that time. She dedicated herself to education and science. She shared her knowledge of different languages with others. Her husband, Pierre, and herself were able to share their love of one another and of science with the world. Marie endured the loss of Pierre and continue to remain devoted to accomplishing their dreams. She always carried him in her heart until her death. Fame and fortune was Marie Curie was a genius and with the determination to teach herself in the unfamiliar topics known at that time. She dedicated herself to education and science. She shared her knowledge of different languages with others. Her husband, Pierre, and herself were able to share their love of one another and of science with the world. Marie endured the loss of Pierre and continue to remain devoted to accomplishing their dreams. She always carried him in her heart until her death. Fame and fortune was not important to her or her husband. Science and the improvement of humanity was their focus. I enjoyed reading this beautifully written biography by Eve Curie. Marie Curie was a person and her personality was unique. She overcame many obstacles and encouraged women to contribute to science. I am inspired to not put limitations on myself based on the views of society. Women are able to contribute to the world as wives, mothers, daughters, and experts in the chosen field. I will not forget how human we all are.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tasnim Dewan Orin

    I read this book in my residential semester at TARC. I passed my afternoon after afternoons with this book in the library for 2 months. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I would love to say this is a must-read for women in STEM. It inspires me a lot in all steps of my Engineering. I loved the childhood part of the book most. This book taught me a woman should not be guided by the social norms and prejudices about her but by her own determination and intelligence. Thanks to Eve I read this book in my residential semester at TARC. I passed my afternoon after afternoons with this book in the library for 2 months. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I would love to say this is a must-read for women in STEM. It inspires me a lot in all steps of my Engineering. I loved the childhood part of the book most. This book taught me a woman should not be guided by the social norms and prejudices about her but by her own determination and intelligence. Thanks to Eve Curie for letting us know about this wonderful woman. For me, she is the superwoman in real world.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gene

    What a life she led, persevering through hardship after hardship in order to "live for the pursuit of science." The book was written using a combination of the in-person accounts of her youngest daughter, Eve, (the author), friends, family, fellow scientists, and the actual writings of Marie Curie. An intimate account of an extraordinary life that contributed discoveries that have had a great impact ever since her devotion to work in the laboratory and teaching in the classroom was initially What a life she led, persevering through hardship after hardship in order to "live for the pursuit of science." The book was written using a combination of the in-person accounts of her youngest daughter, Eve, (the author), friends, family, fellow scientists, and the actual writings of Marie Curie. An intimate account of an extraordinary life that contributed discoveries that have had a great impact ever since her devotion to work in the laboratory and teaching in the classroom was initially commenced as a young woman.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paulomonic

    A pleasurable read, but with too much romance and glamour, which Marie Curie's personna does not need. She is hugely impressive as a brilliant human character, and canonization does not contribute to improve what can not be improved. Understandable, though, since the author is Marie Curie's own daughter.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy Wolf

    Such a wonderful book by Marie Curie's daughter. The hardships her mother faced coming from Poland to study in France were astronomical, much less her groundbreaking discover (with scientist-husband Pierre) of radium. There is an abridged version I would highly recommend for children. Enthralling!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Motherhouse

    This is on my MH book list, not because Marie Curie necessarily represents all of the ideals of the Mother House, but because she was truly a great humanitarian and thinker, and her life is an interesting one for people, especially in Scholar or Depth and Mission phases, to study and discuss. It helped me to better ask some questions related to femininity and doing good in the world. Marie Palmer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Krollo

    Eve was as good a biographer as Boswell, in my opinion. The language is excellent, and the content is masterfully selected. It is a remarkable story, full of hardship and prejudice. Following is a majestic story of discovery, and finally a really sad ending. The Curie family was amazing, to be honest.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dori

    Very interesting but a long read so I pick it up when it calls to me.. When I joined the Polish Genealogical Society of MN I was told that Madame Curie was Polish, which I might have been told in grade school but never thought of that again. Reading this book also shows me a insight into my Polish heritage.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I really loved this. She really was a remarkable woman and I loved learning more about her life and the trials she went through. I loved her (and her husband's) humility the most. That seems rare these days in public figures.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Marcolongo

    I really enjoyed this book but I had to keep in mind it was written by her daughter. I wonder how objective she could be. With that being said, I think Madame Curie is someone that everyone can admire!

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