Marie Curie and Her Daughters
A story of strength, science and sisterhood
Imogen and Isabel Greenberg
It might be that you think of Marie and/ or Pierre Curie when you’re near an x-ray department, or on World Cancer Day (February 4th). You may know Marie Curie as the scientist who discovered polonium, named for her native Poland, and radium, for the rays this element exhibits. Thereafter, you might know that she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Science. Furthermore, you may know that her research cost her her life…
Yet Imogen and Isabel Greenberg offer so much more in this outstanding biography. It seems that Marie Curie’s life was one of extreme dedication, curiosity and sacrifice. She was raised largely by her teacher father, within a family of four children. Like her older sister Bronya, she was intelligent and inspired by sciences. Yet her country, Poland, was under the rule of Russia which ‘denied children learning in their own language, or learning their own history’. Furthermore, there was no admission for girls to the University of Warsaw.
The secret Flying University, nurtured the learning seeds in the family, and thereafter developed the determination that the sisters had to learn further. What they each achieved is remarkable, but how they worked to achieve, and the drive that continued throughout their lifetimes, is astounding. Furthermore, Marie’s inspiration continued and extended to her own daughters, Irène and Eve, whose stories are critical to this pictorial biography.
Bookwagon was riveted by Marie Curie and Her Daughters. Furthermore, we felt the need to discuss what we’d read and learned. This story is more than that of a trailblazing scientist, for it involves world politics, equality, discovery, science and opportunity.