EINSTEIN, Albert. Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie. Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1916.
8o. Original tan printed wrappers, uncut (slight darkening to spine and wrapper edges); quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958), physicist (ink stamp on title, pencil signature on front wrapper and extensive scientific annotations in some margins in pencil).
PAULI'S EXTENSIVELY ANNOTATED COPY
FIRST EDITION, monograph issue. One of the most important copies in existence, this being the copy Pauli used to teach himself general relativity as a teenage student of Arnold Sommerfeld, probably soon after it was published. Sommerfeld was so impressed with the young Pauli's understanding of general relativity, based on the few articles the young Pauli began publishing in 1919, that he entrusted Pauli with the task of writing a monograph on the subject for Felix Klein's Encyklopädie der mathematischen Wissenschaften. The result was published separately as Relativitätstheorie in 1921, when Pauli was just twenty; it represents the first comprehensive monograph presenting Einstein's mathematical and physical ideas. Sommerfeld was highly pleased with his pupil's work and wrote to Einstein describing the article as "simply masterful" (DSB).
This copy bears Pauli's pencilled annotations on 21 of its 64 pages of text, or approximately one-third of its pages. Certain notes appear to have been erased by Pauli, but may be enhanced under ultraviolet light. See Einstein's brief review of Pauli's work. (Boni 130).
Though presented as a separate publication, this is a commercially published offprint from Annalen der Physik, 4. Folge, Band 49, 1916, and it is so identified on the verso of the title page. The text, though reimposed with different page breaks and pagination, appears to be in the same setting as the journal article. A title-page, table of contents, and introduction have been added, as well as a wrapper that makes no reference to the journal, and the note giving the date when the article was submitted to the journal has been deleted from the end. According to Weil, this paper was the subject of several reprintings or facsimiles. The first printing, of which this is an example, may be recognized by the presence of the printer's imprint "Druck von Metzger & Wittig in Leipzig" on the verso of the title and by the shorter imprint "Metzger & Wittig, Leipzig" on the back wrapper. BRL 78.1; Norman 696; Weil 80a.