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Madame Curie: A Biography

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,753 ratings  ·  303 reviews
Marie Skłodowska 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 1937)
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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 4.28  · 
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 ·  2,753 ratings  ·  303 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 Curie before re
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really 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 a
Catarina | cat literary world
This biography is very special to me. I read it for the first time years ago and vividly remember staying awake, wanting to know more about Marie's life and just feeling inspired by her devotion to science.

Re-reading this, so many years after, being a Chemistry post-graduate (and on the verge of starting a PhD) was really wonderful. I still find Marie's life truly inspiring. I mean, she was born in a time and place where women were not allowed to pursue University education. She worked, she help
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
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 small publi
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. ...more
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a first edition hard copy owned by my mother's mother (who died when my mother was quite young), with her book plate in the front, and at a time when my father is going through chemotherapy, so the experience of reading this book was particularly moving. However, this classic biography stands on its own merits. It's subject is of course marvelous, but I want to praise the writing itself. The book is panegyric, not surprisingly considering it was written by the subject's daughter shortly a ...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
I remember reading this as a kid. It was ancient even then, but I really enjoyed it.
My rating reflects my enjoyment only, and is not a comment to the content. It's hardly a reliable narrator who wrote it.
Prashanthi Kadambi
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew the broad outlines of Marie's story, but I wasn't familiar with the finer details. What better way than to read a biography written by her daughter? The book fulfilled its promise by shedding quite a bit of light on the woman who discovered radium and the family which has five Nobel prizes to its credit. The book paints a faithful picture of Marie, right from her childhood to the day she died, with generous extracts from her diaries, letters and other sources.
"Humanity needs dreamers, for
 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
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m not sure why I waited so long to read this one. Loved it and love Marie Curie’s story!
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
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 sure Marie
Tina Marga
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a book with this title in Dutch, but it had a blue hard-cover without a picture. The whole life story of Marie is beautifully written by Marie's daughter Eve in old Dutch-translated language. The detailed descriptions of the situation in Poland around the end of the 19th century under the Russian empire and Paris in the beginning of the 20th century. About a wonderful woman who sacrificed herself for physical, mathematical and chemistry science. It is funny to read that this lady learned ...more
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
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! ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This biography was written by Marie Curie's youngest daughter Eve, and it's a sentimental description of an incredible human being and the rare love that Marie shared with her husband Pierre.

To be honest, my entire library of knowledge about Marie Curie prior to reading this book was that she discovered radiation and that she died of cancer from studying it. I never really grasped the enormity of what Marie Curie's work has meant to the world or the amazing life that she lived until I read this
Ajith V J
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Until this book, for me, Marie Curie was an exceptional scientist who won the Nobel prize twice. This book showed me how inspirational her life was. Hardship when she was young, love for her family, her sacrifices, her patriotism towards Poland, helping underprivileged kids are presented as nice stories in the first third of the book. Her life took a different turn when she could finally pursue her dream of studying Physics in Paris. Then the partnership with Pierre Curie. Their mutual understan ...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!
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 read, and I've
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.

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
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
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
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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

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