Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Marie Curie Autograph Letter Signed "M. Curie." One page, 5.25" x 8.5", Paris, November 6, 1910, in French, on Faculté des Sciences de Paris letterhead. Following the death of her husband Pierre Curie in 1906, she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculté des Sciences, the first time a woman had held this position.

    The letter, addressed to the Director of the newspaper Les Temps, reads, "An article concerning the Radium Institute which recently appeared in the last issue of the 'Cri de Paris' has just been forwarded to me. The information contained in this article is completely false. I have not as yet received either the plans or the estimates for this institute, nor have I made any of the demands mentioned in the article. I am hoping that this article, obviously conceived with malicious intent, will not be accepted by the press in a manner likely to contribute to the propagation of such a myth." Up to this time all press coverage of Curie had been of a positive nature. Curie had volunteered herself as a candidate for the single vacant seat for a physicist in the French Académie des Sciences. This seat was also sought after by Edouard Branly, who had achieved fame for his contribution to wireless telegraphy. Many articles began appearing about Curie claiming that she was Jewish, not truly French, and less deserving than Branly of a seat in the French Academy. Political cartoons focused on her gender, as another issue.

    The onslaught of slander and scandal continued the following year, 1911. Her romantic affair with fellow scientist Paul Langevin (a student of Pierre's) surfaced, and Curie was portrayed as a heartless home wrecker. Langevin had left his wife and children to be with Marie, and despite their discretion, a series of love letters between them came to light. That year, she was passed by for membership in the Académie des Sciences.

    Marie continued to focus on her work, and eventually the scandal dissipated. Her efforts would be rewarded with the building of the Radium Institute, which was completed in 1914. A fine letter commemorating a difficult time in Curie's life. Housed between sheets of acrylic for protection, the letter is very clean with just a touch of age toning. From the Judith Kaplan Women's History Collection.




    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,384

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 27 days left to consign to the 2018 September 30 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Beverly Hills!

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $621,865