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Genia Peierls, 1926-1989


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  • Creation: 1926-1989

Language of Materials

  • Multiple languages

Full range of shelfmarks:

MS. 11619/10/A.113-119

Biographical / Historical

Eugenia (Genia) Nikolaevna Kannegeisser was the daughter of a Russian gynaecologist and surgeon who died when she was less than two years old (her sister Nina was a posthumous child). She owed much to her stepfather Isaiah Benedictovich Mandelstam. She graduated in physics at Leningrad and attended a conference at Odessa in the summer of 1930. Here she met Peierls. They seem to have fallen in love, and into companionship, immediately. After travels around the USSR, they went back to Leningrad where Peierls met her parents. In the following spring Peierls returned to Leningrad as a visiting lecturer and they were married on 15 March 1931. They seem to have been ideally suited, either compatible or complementary. Genia's energy, endurance, enthusiasm and great wisdom became legendary. Peierls himself recounts several anecdotes in Bird of Passage; there are recollections and admiring references throughout the collection, particularly after her death in 1986, though there are no letters of condolence as such in the collection.

Genia Peierls was much more than the consort of a leading scientist.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom