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Rutherford
Being the Life and Letters of the Rt Hon. Lord Rutherford, OM
Arthur Eve

Cambridge University Press 1939
ISBN None
451 pages. Hard Cover.
17 black/white plates, 6 figures embedded in the text.

Purchasing Details.
Out of Print

My Comments on This Book
After Ern died, Mark Oliphant sorted Ern's correspondence. Personal letters went back to the family. Oliphant arranged for photographic copies of the rest which were bound and presented to other places with a Rutherford connection. The originals were later deposited in the archives of Cambridge University Library.

Arthur Eve was selected to write the official biography using these letters and other memorabilia. He had been in Canada with Rutherford, his wife was a good friend of Mary Rutherford and they had stayed in touch with the Rutherford family when he retired to Britain.

When reading this book remember that Eve had Lady Rutherford metaphorically looking over his shoulder so she effectively censored the book. Eve drew mainly on the correspondence with some reminiscences of his own and colleagues. Mary Rutherford supplied the early family history; through her own memories and through those of Ern's mother which had been gathered before her death. A decade earlier Professor Farr had collected some reminiscences concerning Canterbury College. Many of these reminiscences are faulty. The life and times prior to Ern's departure from New Zealand in 1895, as a 23-year-old with three degrees and with two year's original research experience, is covered in a mere 12 pages. Otherwise it is a sound book based mostly on correspondence, and hence rather dry.

Lady Rutherford was quite angry when Ivor Evan's rushed little paperback Man of Power came out before Eve's `official' biography.

Errors Noted.
The first paragraph of nine lines contains seven errors or points which warrant clarifying discussion. eg The Rutherfords travelled to New Zealand in the Phoebe, not the Phoebe Dunbar which was its replacement after the Phoebe was later wrecked in India. See my own Rutherford's Ancestors for the full and correct story of the early history of the family.

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Contents

Preface

ix

Foreword by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

xi

Contents

xiii

Illustrations

xv

Chapter
1 Life in New Zealand

1

2 Research work at Cambridge

13

3 McGill

59

4 Early triumphs

90

5 Last years at McGill

124

6 The Nobel Laureate

163

7 The Nucleus

187

8 The Atom

211

9 The war years

243

10 Cavendish Professor

267

11 The Order of Merit

289

12 President of the Royal Society

314

13 Lord Rutherford of Nelson

342

14 The peak load

367

15 The newer alchemy

403

16 The end

424

Appendix I Honours

437

Appendix II Portraits

439

Index

441

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Reviews

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