Work, a Scandal and Back to Work
Curie was busy not only with
her teaching, research, and efforts to set up the Radium Institute, but
also as a mother. Between 1906 and 1908 she taught physical science once
a week at a cooperative school, where her daughter Irène and a
few other children got lessons from their parents. Her father-in-law helped
raise Irène and Eve, but he died in 1910. A series of Polish governesses
was hired, some more successful than others. The next few years were difficult.
In 1911 the French Academy of Sciences rejected Curies bid to become
a member. Later that year, a scandal erupted.
Paul Langevin had been one of Pierres brightest students. Now he
was in love with Pierres widow. Langevin was unhappily married to
a woman who could not understand his devotion to scientific research,
but some newspapers accused the foreigner Curie of breaking up a good
French home. Returning to France from a meeting of scientists, Curie found
a mob in front of her house. She scooped up her terrified daughters and
took refuge with friends.