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Marie Curie was born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw in 1867 during a period when the Polish nation was subsumed under of the repressive regime of the Russian czars.
It would be a beautiful thing," Pierre Curie wrote to Marie, "if we could spend our life near each other, hypnotized by our dreams: your patriotic dream, our humanitarian dream and our scientific dream.
At 35, Pierre Curie was eight years older than Marie and had already done work that should have been well known in scientific circles: His study of crystals had led him to postulate important laws of symmetry, and he had been conducting experiments in magnetism that would produce enduring laws.
The rain and the traffic were heavy that day as Pierre Curie approached rue Dauphine, just a block from the Institut library along the Seine where he planned to do some reading.
At some point in the summer of 1910, mutual sympathy between Marie Curie and Langevin turned into passion.
But in the meantime, Marie Curie was placed in greater jeopardy by the decision she made, with the encouragement of colleagues, to apply for membership in the AcademyofScience.
In October of 1911 Marie Curie attended the historic Solvay Conference in Brussels, along with 20 other illustrious scientists, including Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Ernest Rutherford, Jean Perrin, and, of course, Paul Langevin.
Someone, probably at the behest of Langevin, broke into Marie Curie and Paul Langevin's pieda-terre and stole intimate letters, and when Paul Langevin's wife instituted legal action, she threatened to use the letters as part of her case in court.
Estelle Vasey, chairman of the Northern Rock Charity Committee, said: "Planting a daffodil bulb in the Marie Curie Field of Hope is a tangible way of remembering friends and loved ones and it looks so beautiful when they bloom in spring and of course they return each year to remind us.
The Field of Hope at the Marie Curie Hospice is to be planted tomorrow from 10.
On July 4, 1934, at the age of 67, Curie died of aplastic anemia, a blood disease that often results from radiation exposure.
Curie is said to have become an agnostic as a teenager and was described variously throughout her life as a rationalist, atheist, and freethinker.