When we think of Albert Einstein, we associate him most with Germany, Switzerland, and the United States—less often with Britain. Yet Britain is the country that launched Einstein as a worldwide phenomenon, and Einstein’s British relationship flourished for over half a century.

From the 1890s, Einstein said, British theoretical and experimental physics sparked his scientific development in Switzerland. In 1919, British astronomers confirmed his general theory of relativity published in wartime Germany, which made Einstein internationally famous. And in 1955, Britain gave rise to his most enduring political statement: the Russell-Einstein Manifesto against nuclear weapons, initiated by Bertrand Russell—the last document Einstein signed before his death in the U.S.