TLS signed “A. Einstein,” one page, 8.25 x 11, blind-stamped personal letterhead, May 12, 1952. Letter to physicist, astronomer, and author Kenneth Heuer at the Hayden Planetarium. In full: “I have read your manuscript for your book ‘THE END OF THE WORLD’ and found it very good. Rich in ideas and offering much solid knowledge in an easily digestible and very attractive form. It is not possible for me to write a foreword for your book for the simple reason that I receive too many requests of that kind so that I cannot make a choice without offending the majority of the others. But you may use the above remarks in a way that seems to you appropriate, f. i. for the book jacket.” A short typed postscript under his signature reads, “I feel it as a little painful that you called me ‘the most prominent living theoretical physicist’ which is clearly an exaggeration. I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to remove this overstatement.”
Einstein additionally adds a handwritten postscript at the bottom, in German. Loosely translated, he writes “The theory of Saturn’s rings was new and interesting to me. The idea is probably that the moon is eliminated from Saturn and the effect of the tide removed it further away. In that case it is difficult to think that the tension produced would have led to disintegration. If, however, the existing moon approached so close to Saturn that the tension created would lead to its breaking up, I do not comprehend whereby this approach could have been caused.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, a few creases, and a staple hole to top left. Letter is housed in a custom half morocco and cloth clamshell case. Heuer’s book, published by Rinehart and Company in 1953, did indeed quote this letter from Einstein in promoting the title, giving scientific validity to the frequently sensationalized topic of how the world could end. With Einstein’s charming modesty and the additional lengthy discussion on the author’s theory on Saturn’s rings, this is an excellent addition to any scientific collection! Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.