The Secret History of Wonder Woman
By Jill Lepore
Wonder Woman, created in 1941 by William Moulton Marston is probably the most popular and long-lasting female superhero of all time. Author Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer relates the little known but fascinating story of Wonder Woman’s creator, whose early life was influenced by suffragists and influential feminists, including Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the woman suffrage movement in England, and Margaret Sanger, early proponent of birth control. Lepore tells us that Marston, his wife Sadie Elizabeth Holloway and Olive Byrne, niece of Margaret Sanger, wrote a conventional column for Family Circle Magazine, while simultaneously living a life of startling non-conformity.
The New York Historical Society has awarded the book its prestigious annual American History Book Prize, chosen from a field of 132 submissions. The Society’s President, Louise Mirrer, in her announcement stated, “The book pushes forward the frontiers of women’s rights as it retrieves crucial but forgotten history,” and author Jill Lepore stated “this was an incredibly fun book to write.” The prize will be awarded at a black-tie dinner April 17th. (The Secret History of Wonder Woman is not appropriate for children, as it deals with adult issues.)