Just finished a fascinating book called Marie Curie and Her Daughters (buy direct) by Shelley Emling. The title says it all. It's about Curie's life after she won the Nobel Prize the first time and her two very different but both amazing dauthers, Eve and Irene.
I enjoyed learning about the Curies, because all I really knew was about Marie's amazing career was up to the time she won her first Nobel prize. I really didn't know much about her daughters or her life.
What fascinated me the most was about a friendship she had with an American journalist named Missy Meloney. The friends got to know each other over business really, with Meloney to convince Curie to visit the United States.
A passage from Marie Curie and Her Daughters says:
But whether Marie knew it at the time, bringing the scientist to America always would be, for Meloney, an essential part of their future collaboration. Indeed, their connection would push the envelope for both women. Their exchange provide a pivotal moment, filling Meloney with a new sense of purpose and Marie with a new source of funds and good will. Most importantly, a beautiful, lifelong friendship was born.
Both of their lives were transformed by the other woman, and they continued to help each other until the end of their lives. They had enormous respect for one another, even though they had entirely different backgrounds and upbringing.
Meloney even became friends with Curie's daughters, Irene and Eve.
What this story proved to me once again is the importance of being open to new friendships. Surely, Curie and Meloney probably didn't realize they would play such an important part in each other's lives in the beginning, but they were open to the prospect of what their friendship might bring. And typical of friends who are opposites like this (with Meloney an extroverted journalist and Curie an introverted scientist), they also shared one important thing in common: they were successful career women in a time when it was difficult to be a female journalist or certainly, scientist.
The lessons I took from this book were:
- Friendships that originate in a profession or work capacity have the ability to last well beyond the initial project or time at a specific job.
- Even if you have nothing in common with someone on the surface, you can still find commonalities in which to form a friendship.
- Even friends who live across the globe can help each other. (Curie lived in France while Meloney was in the U.S.)
- Respect goes a long way in friendship.
Image: Palgrave Macmillan
Image: Palgrave Macmillan