Girl Gone Reading: The Other Einstein - another bad ass woman

I was so excited when this book, The Other Einstein, came out in 2016, but so much was going on in my life from then until 2018. I don't remember reading much of anything, though I'm sure I did. I do know I didn't read this.

Marie Benedict, the author, is my all time favorite when it comes to historical novels. Ms. Benedict has written about quite a few bad ass women in history, and apparently Albert Einstein's wife was one of them. Though physics and science isn't generally anything I take an interest in, I knew with Ms. Benedict writing it, I would be more than pleased and learn something along the way about another important woman in history. She wrote Carnegie's Maid which I raved about here.

This book isn't technical or scientific - it is a novel through and through. Keep in mind this is fiction so much of it is conjecture when it comes to the relationship between Albert and Mileva.

Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mileva Maric, as you already know, becomes Mrs. Einstein. She is Serbian and exceptional when it comes to math and physics. Her father fully supported her choices and encouraged her to pursue her education but... only because he thought no one would marry her due to a physical defect. Maric is accepted at university in Zurich which she meets Albert. While she does live with three other brilliant women, Mileva is the only woman in her physics classes. The professor does not hide his contempt.

At first Albert and Mileva have a great relationship and he treats her as an intellectual equal. However, Albert is fully enmeshed in a Bohemian lifestyle so sex outside of their marriage is common. (Yes, Einstein - not Freud.) Mileva eventually becomes pregnant so of course for that time, she is unable to complete her education. I don't want to give too much away about this situation, but as always, I'm going to encourage you to read it for yourself.

Here's the cool thing to me. The premise of this story is that Mileva is the one who actually discovered and wrote the Theory of Relativity. Albert and Mileva co-wrote the paper, but he removes her name without her knowledge.

In reality, Mileva's real role in the Theory of Relativity is unknown. Among scientists and scholars, some believe she was a sounding board for Albert, others believe she did the mathematical equations for his theories, and some believe outright she is the author.

Because I read a lot of historical fiction, I wasn't surprised by the treatment of Mileva or other women at this time in history. But I was surprised at Albert's behavior, if I'm being honest. One of the most famous photos of him makes it seem like he has a great sense of humor. But does he? I encourage you to read for youself, then maybe dig a bit deeper into your own research and see what you find.

Available on Amazon (kindle) for $9.99.