Albert Einstein (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed (‘Albert’) to Michele Besso, New York, [postmarked 28 May 1921].

In German, two pages, 213 x 140mm, on paper with printed heading and vignette of the Commodore Hotel, Pershing Square, New York. Envelope.

Please note this is the property of a private consignor.
Published in Pierre Speziali (ed.) Albert Einstein. Michele Besso. Correspondance 1903-1955. Paris: Hermann, 1972. No. 55
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Lot Essay

Experimental demonstration of general relativity, being 'shown off like a prize bullock' in America, and the 'considerable test of patience' represented by marriage.

'The redshift of spectral lines [the third proof of general relativity] is beginning to be confirmed on all sides by Grebe and Bachem, Pérot, Fabry and Buisson. I never doubted for a moment that it would be so, unlike others who believe they understand the theory of relativity'. Writing after a hectic two-month tour of the USA, Einstein has found the country interesting, being much struck by the national enthusiasm for all forms of business. 'I have had to allow myself to be shown off like a prize bullock, speak countless times in large and small gatherings, deliver countless scientific lectures. It's a wonder that I survived'. Still, he has the great satisfaction of having been useful to the cause of Zionism, especially through securing the foundation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; this work has been carried out in the face of opposition from both Jews and non-Jews Einstein makes an uncomplimentary remark about the lack of involvement of the former. Einstein is pleased to hear news of the marriage of some young friends, whom he wryly comments seem well suited to facing 'the considerable test of patience which marriage presents'.

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Einstein: Letters to a Friend Part I
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