London, South Kensington
6 December 2002
EINSTEIN, Albert. Autograph letter signed ('Euer Papa und Grosspapa') to his son Hans Albert, n.p., 26 December 1948, in German, one page, 4to. Provenance: Einstein family, and by descent.
EINSTEIN CONFRONTS THE PROSPECT OF DEATH, AND REPORTS NEW SCIENTIFIC WORK. The letter warns Hans Albert that he is about to undergo a serious operation, as he has been in continuous and worsening pain of late: 'It is not considered to be cancerous, but for an old fellow like me any surgical intervention is awkward. If I go under, it's not as if it's too early'; he's warning his son so that he doesn't hear about it all through the newspapers. Otherwise everything is fine: 'I've just written a nice bit of work, which justifies the theory proposed a few years ago from a new angle'; but he hasn't succeeded in the calculations needed to prove it, 'because of the great mathematical difficulties, for which there is as yet no method'. A postscript reports two letters from his son Eduard, and that he has not told Mileva (Hans Albert's mother) about the operation.
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