Category Archives: Switzerland

Ahhh, Bern

Bern is a medieval city that has changed little structurally since 1410 when a law was passed, after a fire that burned all the wooden buildings, that decreed all buildings be made of stone.   Of course the old city now … Continue reading

Posted in Anus Mirabilus, Bern, Eduard Einstein, Einstein, Elsa Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, Generating Fiction from History and/or Fact, Hadley Richardson, Hans Albert Einstein, Helen Dukas, History Museum, Johanna Fantova, Margot Einstein, Mileva Maric, Oktoberfest, Special Theory of Relativity, Switzerland | Leave a comment


It poured rain on our first day in Zurich and was the Swiss equivalent of Thanksgiving Day, besides.  Of the main churches, the Grossmunster was closed for a vocal concert, the Wasserkirche for services, and St. Peter’s Church for a string ensemble.  … Continue reading

Posted in ETH/Zurich Polytech, Fraumunster, Grossmunster, Marc Chagall, Plattenstrasse 50, Switzerland, Unionstrasse 4, Wasserkirche, Zurich | 1 Comment

The Business of Dowries

Most of what I knew about Jewish dowries, prior to researching the Einstein novel, came from the stories of Shalom Aleichem, via Tevye the milkman and Fiddler on the Roof.  I extend my gratitude and acknowledgment to Marion Kaplan and … Continue reading

Posted in arranged marriage, dowry, Einstein, Fiddler on the Roof, Marion Kaplan, matchmakers, Mileva Maric, Pauline Einstein, reading, Research methods, Shalom Aleichem, Switzerland | Leave a comment

What is an alp?

It’s not a rocky peak in Switzerland, Italy, or France, or so I learn from a 1908 volume called Peep at Many Lands:  Switzerland by John Finnemore (London:  Adam and Charles Black).   It’s one of those lovely old books, … Continue reading

Posted in Italy, reading, Research methods, Switzerland | Leave a comment

An Exercise in Point-of-View

I’m working on a scene where it’s hard to understand Einstein’s behavior.  It’s mid-July, 1901, and Mileva is about to re-sit her exams at the Polytech, having failed them the summer before.  It’s her last chance to pass, and, oh-my-god, … Continue reading

Posted in Einstein, family members, Fictional biography, historical fiction, Mettmenstetten, Mileva Maric, Pauline Einstein, point of view, Serbia, Switzerland, writing | 3 Comments

The Wonders of Google Maps

I’ve written before about what a handicap it is to write about a setting I’ve never visited.  I can read descriptions in books–and in the case of Albert Einstein, some of the biographers are fine writers who provide me with … Continue reading

Posted in Einstein, family members, Google Maps, Mettmenstetten, reading, Research methods, Switzerland, writing | Leave a comment