December 14, 2009

Lives that Could Have Been Ours: One Woman in 1914



Mileva Maric was born in 1875 and was married in 1903 at the age of 28 to a fellow student. The marriage was a small affair with only two witnesses, there was no honeymoon. She had two sons with her husband and a daughter the year before they were married.

Excerpts from a Letter written by her Husband in 1914:

A. You will see to it: (1) That my clothes and linens are kept in order, (2) That I am served three regular meals a day in my room, (3)  That my bedroom and study are always kept in good order And that my desk is not touched by anyone other than me.

B. You will renounce all personal relations with me, except when these are required to keep up social appearances. In particular, you will not request: (1) That I sit with you at home. (2) That I go out or travel with you.

C. You will promise explicitly to observe the following points in any contact with me. (1) You will expect no affection from me and you will not reproach me for this. (2) You must answer me at once when I speak to you. (3) You must leave my bedroom or study at once without protesting when I ask you to go.

D. You will promise not to denigrate me in the eyes of the children, either by word or deed.

Her husband eventually had an affair with his cousin, Elsa and demanded a divorce from his wife writing to his cousin "I treat my wife as an employee whom I cannot fire. I have my own bedroom and avoid being alone with her. In this form I can endure the 'living together' quite well." He married Elsa and soon fell in love with the nice of one of his friends. Elsa allowed him to see her twice a week and in return he would keep a low profile. He soon got bored of the niece and moved on.

It's terrible that these abuses had to be accepted by these women because of the pressure of society. If a Mileva led a lifestyle like this she would be remembered as a sinful harlot, it is sad that her husband is remembered for  E=mc2 and his letter written to President Roosevelt in 1939 is far more famous than the one I've included in this post.

Einstein's Letter to President Roosevelt
New letters shed light on Einstein’s love life





3 comments:

  1. I agree that was difficult for many women at that time and men appeared to get away with a lot but you have to remember that his first wife had freewill and a brain. She chose to have relations with him outside of marriage and put herself in a position to of vulnerablity. As sad as it is, she reaped what she sowed God's word is for both men and women and he gives both sexes the strength to follow and believe. While some women were victims, through no fault of their own, some made choices that led them down that road. As for Einstein, he had a God given brilliance and he is held high in the eyes of man but God saw his heart. Unless he repented before his death, I shutter to think of where he is now.

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  2. This post was a little shocking. I gathered Einstein had a really bizarre personal life (He'd do absentminded things like forget to wear socks and apparently once misplaced a check for $1,000 by using it as a bookmark) but I didn't even know he was ever married. I figured no one could live with such an eccentric genius, I assumed he had a very solitary life. I knew next to nothing about his past. But his cruelty and neglect as a husband...that's not what the world wants us to remember about him, is it? So it's been expunged from history. You're exactly right, so much about the past gets swept under the carpet.

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