Einstein, Albert (1879 – 1955)
‘I have recently completed one of the most beautiful works of my life’
An astonishing and desirable autograph letter signed by Albert Einstein, ‘Papa’, three pages, 4th November, no date, but 1915, in which the physicist declares himself to have completed ‘one of the most beautiful works of my life’ — the general Theory of Relativity.
Written to his son Hans Albert, on conjoined leaves (the lower blank portion of page three is missing below the horizontal fold). An affectionate letter in which Einstein suggests that he and his son spend one month per year together, somewhere where they won’t be disturbed by others, ‘so that you see that you have a father, and that he loves you. You can learn a lot of good things from me — things you couldn’t so easily learn from others. The incredibly hard work I’ve done shouldn’t just be for strangers, rather it should be mostly for my own boys’. He goes on to make the grand statement, ‘I have recently completed one of the most beautiful works of my life, and when you are bigger I will tell you about it’.
He goes on to discuss Hans Albert’s school and piano-playing: ‘We learn the most when we are doing something with much pleasure that we lose track of time. I am often so absorbed in my work that I forget to eat lunch.’ He signs off, ‘Kisses to you and Tete, from your Papa’ adding, ‘Greetings to Mama’ underneath.
Einstein had described the Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, which had opened up an entire field of physics, but had left the physicist with some nagging questions. The problems of gravity and acceleration would not go away. After considering about the problems for ten years, Einstein published the general theory of relativity on 25th November 1915.
The aforementioned neat paper loss to the third page notwithstanding, the letter is in very fine condition.