4200book cover for 'Einstein's Daughter'
- Nov 16, 2013For the possible interest of fellow listserve members, below is the cover of my next 'Sherlock', my third, due out this month and below it the foreword. As I remark, I have continued my practice of taking real-life characters from the Edwardian Period and adapting their world to Holmes's and Watson's. For my fourth I plan to employ the Ottoman Sultan Abd�lhamid 11.
Best to all.
This mystery is my third Sherlock. In Sherlock Holmes and the Dead Boer At Scotney Castle and Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Bulgarian Codex I based pivotal historical facts and a principal character on real life. So too in Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter.
Albert Einstein was brought up in Ulm and Munich, bustling, wealthy towns in the Swabian region of southern Germany. At the age of five he was shown how a compass needle always swings to magnetic North. From that moment he determined to become a great physicist, more famous than Isaac Newton. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
Even today it is not widely known that at the age of twenty-three Einstein fathered an illegitimate daughter with Mileva Mari�, a physics student he met at the Zurich Polytechnikum. Mileva's father Milo� had risen from the peasantry through the Army to a position of influence throughout the Vojvodina region of Serbia.
Mileva and Albert referred to their infant daughter by the Swabian diminutive 'Lieserl' - Little Liese. Her life was fleeting. At around 21 months of age she disappears from the face of the Earth.
Lieserl's fate remains a subject of mystery and speculation. Researchers regularly trek to Serbia to conduct investigations. They comb through registries, synagogues, church and monastery archives throughout the Vojvodina region, the place of her birth and short life. To no avail. In this adventure Holmes exclaims, 'the most ruthless effort has been made by public officials, priests, monks, friends, relatives and relatives by marriage - to seek out and destroy every document with Lieserl's name on it. The question is - why?'
The real Lieserl may never have come to the eyes of the outside world but for an unexpected find in California more than eighty years later. Her brother Hans Albert Einstein opened an old grey shoebox. It contained several dozen yellowed and wrinkled letters in German type, exchanged between his parents Albert and Mileva. Italian, Swiss, German and Austro-Hungarian postmarks reflected their peripatetic life. Several letters between early 1901 and 1903 mentioned an older sister referred to as 'Lieserl'. After September 1903 her name never appears again. Anywhere.
Most investigators conclude the child was born with serious brain damage. The Serbian bureaucracy of those times would have written the words 'Severe Stupidity' into her medical records. Later, Albert Einstein would hint at an inheritable disorder on Mileva's side of the family. More likely it was the consequence of a very difficult birth - the mother suffered from congenital dysplasia of the hip.
Three hapless 'must have' theories hold sway. Lieserl must have died in an outbreak of scarlet fever in Novi Sad in the summer of 1903. She must have been adopted by family friends in Belgrade. She must have been placed in a home for children with special needs.
In the Mystery of Einstein's Daughter, Holmes and Watson are led to a dramatic Fourth Theory.
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