Einstein in Love: Letters Illuminate Genius’ Dark Side

July 28, 2014 - History
Einstein in Love: Letters Illuminate Genius’ Dark Side

NEW YORK — Albert Einstein’s genius did not extend to his own love life, which was full of messy affairs, bumpy marriages and bitter endings, as judged by his letters to the women in his life.

A reading of the letters written by Einstein to his wives and other women brought the strange, complicated life of the world’s most famous scientist to the stage in Alan Alda’s play “Dear Albert,” at New York University’s Skirball Center for Performing Arts, here at the World Science Festival on May 28.

“The interesting thing to me is that [Einstein] was searching all through his life for simplicity, and he couldn’t have had a more chaotic personal life,” Alda said.

The young Einstein, played by Paul Rudd, wrote frequently to his fellow student Mileva Marić, played by Cynthia Nixon, a brilliant and determined woman who later became his wife. Their relationship began with heated passion despite an unwelcome pre-marriage pregnancy and Einstein’s parents’ disapproval of the relationship. [Einstein Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of the Famous Genius]

The couple, who spent a lot of time apart, wrote of their love for each other in between lines of enthusiastic scientific discussions interrupted by mathematical equations.

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