Jul. 3rd, 2017

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As [personal profile] oursin likes to remind her readers, "secret history" is an overused marketing term for "actually quite well established history that people buying the book were maybe not acquainted with," but in this case it's definitely appropriate, as the history of Wonder Woman is inextricably tied to the polyamorous union of four adults who created her, and who did everything they could to keep their relationship an utter secret not just from the world but from their own children.

Various histories of Wonder Woman written by comics fans in this century have included details about William Marston's unconventional family and his fetishism for bondage, but all of them are frustratingly superficial and give little or no credit to his partners as co-creators, or to the political and social movements that influenced their creation of Wonder Woman.

Jill Lepore's book reveals that Wonder Woman, like all the writings attributed to William Marston, was a collaborative effort between Marston and his three partners, all feminists and suffragists like himself. Clues from college yearbooks and the like suggest that Elizabeth Holloway, Olive Byrne, and Marjorie Huntley were all bisexual and that the Marston family was not just polygamous but fully polyamorous. It is a truth universally acknowledged that bisexual women in want of children should find themselves an agreeable donor )
Overall, an excellent history not only of Wonder Woman, but also a look at one slice of the history of feminism in the years between the passage of suffrage and women's liberation, showing how there was never actually an end to activism and the push for greater equality. Recommended.

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