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    Sale 7548

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    12 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 66

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his first wife, Mileva, n.p., 4 June 1918, 2 pages, 8vo, on a bifolium, numbered '39' in pencil on verso of f.2, other pencil annotations (crossed in orange watercolour, apparently by wartime censors). Provenance: Mileva Einstein-Maric; and by descent.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his first wife, Mileva, n.p., 4 June 1918, 2 pages, 8vo, on a bifolium, numbered '39' in pencil on verso of f.2, other pencil annotations (crossed in orange watercolour, apparently by wartime censors). Provenance: Mileva Einstein-Maric; and by descent.

    Einstein notes from Mileva's letter that she has been having difficulties with Anne Besso [wife of their close friend Michele]; he himself has received completely shameless letters from her, so that he has had to renounce further contact ('Mir hat sie derart unverschämte Briefe geschrieben, dass ich mir weitere Briefe verbeten habe, und dass ich mich nie wieder mit ihr einlassen kann'), though one has to make allowances for the fact that she is not altogether normal ('Man muss ihr aber zugute halten, dass sie nicht ganz normal ist'). Mileva should therefore seek advice about their divorce from some other trustworthy person, but she may be sure that Einstein has arranged matters for her benefit to the best of his ability, and he provides details of his financial dispositions, including life insurance for 20,000 marks. He does not plan to come to Switzerland in the coming summer, fearing the stress of the journey -- instead he will spend two months in a village on the Baltic coast, and warmly invites Hans Albert to join him -- the journey will be less stressful for him. If however Mileva refuses permission for this, she need not give her reasons; she should not accuse Einstein of being a neglectful father if he does not make the journey. He closes the letter by renewing his request that she complete the divorce proceedings as soon as possible.

    Albert and Mileva Einsteins' divorce was completed on 14 February 1919; on 2 June Albert married Elsa Löwenthal (née Einstein), who was not only his first cousin on his mother's side but also his second cousin on his father's side.


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