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Madame Curie: A Biography

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,095 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867–1934) was the first woman scientist to win worldwide acclaim and was, indeed, one of the great scientists of the twentieth century. Written by Curie’s daughter, the renowned international activist Eve Curie, this biography chronicles Curie’s legendary achievements in science, including her pioneering efforts in the study of radioactivity and he ...more
Paperback, 393 pages
Published April 2nd 2001 by Da Capo Press (first published November 30th 1936)
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Gaynor Hello Akila, I found a copy today at a book fair in a country town on the way home from the coast. It's a Readers Digest version with Treasure Island,…moreHello Akila, I found a copy today at a book fair in a country town on the way home from the coast. It's a Readers Digest version with Treasure Island, Call of the Wild and David Copperfield. Where are you in the world? I am in Australia. Regards Gaynor(less)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  2,095 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I must have taken this out of the library ten times as I was growing up.. My mother loved biography, especially biographies of great women, and recommended this to me as a sixth grader, at a time when the world was saying no to me a lot. Girls couldn't grow up to be jockeys. No you can't take print shop, you don't want to dirty your hands, little lady. Here's cooking and sewing class. Here's Cress Delahanty and Cherry Ames, Student Nurse. The biography of Marie Curie by her daughter Eve was one ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2008
A rare find. I have a vague memory of salvaging this 1959 Pocket Book edition from my parents' garage sale box 14 years ago; while cleaning out my closet a few weeks ago, I almost tossed it...I’m not sure what made me change my mind and actually start to read the musty pocketbook with browned pages, a broken spine, and too-small print. I’m glad I did; it is, quite simply, an extraordinary story, beautifully written.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I knew nothing about Marie Cur
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I thought I would never finish reading this wonderful biography depicting Mme. Curie's life, work and character as one of the great lady scientists in 20th century and beyond. I think it is a must read one for those interested to know her intimately since it was written objectively and sometimes movingly by her daughter whose account is still readable and inspiring. Reading it off and on due to my ongoing work and stopped at Chapter XVIII APRIL 19, 1906, I resumed reading it last week and finall ...more
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read an old copy of this book, not the one in the picture located by GoodReads. It is a Heinemann hardback, originally produced (a translation from the French) in 1938, and reprinted many times until the one in my possession, which is on thin discoloured paper and dated 1947.

I knew a little about the legend: the Marie Curie who appeared in passing in a reading book at primary school, and perhaps dimly in a black and white film seen somewhere or other. I read this because (as a
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Marie Curie is someone I greatly admire for her dedication to science, her incredible work ethic, her total disdain for material wealth, her love of her children, her love affair with her husband, her humility in spite of great honors, her dedication to help mankind. Additionally, I loved reading her letters to friends and family members. This book taught me that to excel in an area many times means you have to dedicate much of your life to whatever that interest is - in other words, success com ...more
Sydney Skala
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. I didn't know who Marie Curie was and this book thoroughly described her. Marie was a very strong and independent character in the novel. I looked up to that greatly. She would do whatever she needed to get her studying done, and studying always came first. Her relationship with Pierre warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. They were so in love but it broke my heart when they couldn't even afford to buy ores to make the radium. Marie was also very passionate ...more
Jennifer Margulis
Though I love reading memoirs to see how people construct and tell the story of their lives, I realized recently that I have not read many biographies. Looking for a place to start, I saw this biography of Marie Curie listed among the top ten science biographies ever written. That assessment was spot on. This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. Eve Curie gets so close to her characters and puts us so squarely in Marie Curie's point of view that the book reads like a novel. Marie ...more
Eve Curie tried hard to depict her mother's life and did a pretty good job of it, but there's just too much hero-worship for my taste in a biography. I like them to be more objective.
 Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Schu
This was such a beautiful book. Eve Curie had a wonderful gift of language as depicted in her loving tribute to her mother. Marie and Pierre Curie were remarkable individuals with a respectful relationship of equality. I found them to be inspiring with their humble givings to science, their aptitude and passion for physics, and how they raised their daughters. I found myself awed by Madame Curie's ceaseless energy for caring for her family after losing her husband and continuing with her researc ...more
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have Opinions. None of which reflect on the eventful life of Marie Curie, all of which are related to the expectations of a reader in 2018. Suffice to say: if you are only going to read one book on Marie Curie and her science (I have read a few) choose a different one, for a more full picture of the context and importance of her discoveries as well as a more well-rounded image of Marie herself. Eve, as makes sense for her time and place, wrote a sort of extended eulogy that attempted to make h ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've always been curious about Marie Curie and her life. She seems to be the sole woman who shows up in lists of historical science greats, and she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for her (and her husband's) discovery of radium.

This biography is written by her daughter, Eva Curie. It's important to know this because there's a lot of hero-worship (or in this case, mother-worship) in the book. Eva Curie loved her mother and admired her tremendously with very good reason. I'm
What a wonderful tribute to her mother! This biography of Madame Curie, written soon after her death by her youngest daughter, is lively, highly engaging, and a lovely book. The collection of personal letters used to give voice to Madame Curie's personal thoughts combined with all the personal stories that family and friends were willing to share make this extremely readable. I knew little of Madame Curie's personal story and had forgotten that her husband died so early in their lives (and with ...more
Mihaela Froehlich
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved every single page of this book. At times, I could identify with Marie, at time with her father and at time with her daughter. The book has painted a life of a scientist through eyes of those who knew her and aboundance of letters and papers she and those who were in her circle left behind. She was made real in this book. I have read some comments to the contrary but I think that dissonance comes from understanding the culture and time she comes from. She needs to be looked through the lens ...more
María José
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book and such a extraordinary woman!
Maria Zarpellon
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took me twenty years to find a copy of this book which my school teacher recommended to me when I was about twelve. In this intimate and delicate portrait of a mother by her daughter, Marie Curie's unordinary determination and intense dedication to science (until her very last days) are even more remarkable than her brilliance and sharp mind. Her story demonstrates that passion is crucial to success. Easily one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. I wish I had read it before!
Rhonda Elkins
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've always known about Madame Curie to a small extent, a great scientist, the discoverer of Radium, but the other day I happened upon the old 1940s movie with Greer Garson titled "Madame Curie" and I watched it. I noticed before it began that it was based on the book written by her daughter Eve in the 1930s. I loved the movie and was so moved by this woman's life, that I just had to read that book, so I immediately ordered it.

This is one of, if not THE best biographies I've ever rea
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
This book was surprising to read just because I knew who Marie Curie was, that she discovered Radium and her work with it. But I didn't know her as a person. Her love and devotion to her husband, Pierre Curie, who they worked side by side. Her as a mother. How humble she was and devoted to her work as a pure scientist. Working for scientist for science sake. She won 2 Noble Prizes and was a director a lab and had positions and honors that women in a man's world was unheard of. She was very passi ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This biography was a load of information straight to my head. This book was recommended to me by the school librarian. I would recommend this to those that love science, and want to learn more about an iconic woman who helped shape the world of science.
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I recently watched a documentary on Marie Curie and remembered I'd bought an old biography on a whim - what's a few cents when it might be an interesting book about someone I know very little of, other than the part of Marie Curie being a famous Nobel winning scientist who died as a result of her work. So far many of my book purchases remain seated on the shelf, waiting to be read, but now I had the motivation to pick up Curie's biography and see beyond the details grazed in the documentary. ...more
Alatheia Nielsen
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Madame Curie is all that a biography should be. Raw, inspiring and intimate. The book had me both laughing and in tears (both from sorrow and anger) multiple times. Every woman should read this book at some point in her life -- the sooner, the better.
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marie Curie was a genius and with the determination to teach herself in the unfamiliar topics known at that time. She dedicated herself to education and science. She shared her knowledge of different languages with others. Her husband, Pierre, and herself were able to share their love of one another and of science with the world. Marie endured the loss of Pierre and continue to remain devoted to accomplishing their dreams. She always carried him in her heart until her death. Fame and fortune was ...more
Tasnim Dewan  Orin
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in my residential semester at TARC. I passed my afternoon after afternoons with this book in the library for 2 months. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I would love to say this is a must-read for women in STEM. It inspires me a lot in all steps of my Engineering. I loved the childhood part of the book most. This book taught me a woman should not be guided by the social norms and prejudices about her but by her own determination and intelligence. Thanks to Eve Curi ...more
Oct 11, 2011 added it
What a life she led, persevering through hardship after hardship in order to "live for the pursuit of science." The book was written using a combination of the in-person accounts of her youngest daughter, Eve, (the author), friends, family, fellow scientists, and the actual writings of Marie Curie. An intimate account of an extraordinary life that contributed discoveries that have had a great impact ever since her devotion to work in the laboratory and teaching in the classroom was initially com ...more
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A pleasurable read, but with too much romance and glamour, which Marie Curie's personna does not need. She is hugely impressive as a brilliant human character, and canonization does not contribute to improve what can not be improved. Understandable, though, since the author is Marie Curie's own daughter.
Amy Wolf
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Such a wonderful book by Marie Curie's daughter. The hardships her mother faced coming from Poland to study in France were astronomical, much less her groundbreaking discover (with scientist-husband Pierre) of radium. There is an abridged version I would highly recommend for children. Enthralling!
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is on my MH book list, not because Marie Curie necessarily represents all of the ideals of the Mother House, but because she was truly a great humanitarian and thinker, and her life is an interesting one for people, especially in Scholar or Depth and Mission phases, to study and discuss. It helped me to better ask some questions related to femininity and doing good in the world. Marie Palmer
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Eve was as good a biographer as Boswell, in my opinion. The language is excellent, and the content is masterfully selected. It is a remarkable story, full of hardship and prejudice. Following is a majestic story of discovery, and finally a really sad ending. The Curie family was amazing, to be honest.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting but a long read so I pick it up when it calls to me..
When I joined the Polish Genealogical Society of MN I was told that Madame Curie was Polish, which I might have been told in grade school but never thought of that again. Reading this book also shows me a insight into my Polish heritage.
Ellen Marcolongo
I really enjoyed this book but I had to keep in mind it was written by her daughter. I wonder how objective she could be. With that being said, I think Madame Curie is someone that everyone can admire!
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really loved this. She really was a remarkable woman and I loved learning more about her life and the trials she went through. I loved her (and her husband's) humility the most. That seems rare these days in public figures.
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Ève Curie Labouisse, a journalist and humanitarian, is best known for her biography of her mother, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie. Published in 1937, “Madame Curie” chronicled the life of Marie Curie, who earned the Nobel Prize twice, first in physics in 1903 and again in chemistry in 1911. The book quickly became a bestseller and in 1943 was made into a Hollywood film, starring Gre ...more