The Secret History of Wonder Woman

Yes, I saw the Wonder Woman movie and yes I read all the hot takes about it and yes I do realize that there are issues with it, but that is not hindering how happy I am about the Wonder Woman movie. I am not hard to delight, so I don’t know how much this means but while watching it I was pretty darn delighted. About a year ago I read one of the first volumes of Wonder Woman and the movie felt pretty true to that while getting rid of some of the more problematic aspects of the original story (not enough of them…there are hot takes, literally just google “problems with Wonder Woman movie” you will find them.) The movie and the first book were the extent of my Wonder Woman knowledge…until now. The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore was a fabulously scandalous, inspiring and true story about the original creators. Sometimes the behind the scenes of books and stories make ruin the stories, I truly believe reading this book will only make you more interested in reading and watching everything Wonder Woman related.

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When I started The Secret History of Wonder Woman I definitely just assumed I’d be getting a little background in the suffragist movement and learn something about comics. I got that and so much more. Jill Lepore is an excellent writer and tells the story of Wonder Woman’s creators in a way that kept me turning the page, but really, after reading about the creators it would have been hard to turn this story into a boring history book. If the facts were listed in bullet points they still couldn’t help but be interesting. Ultimately this book is about William Moulton Marston, the man who wrote Wonder Woman. He was a psychologist who invented the lie detector test, a feminist, polyamorist, and, frankly, while reading the book it was hard to decide if he was way ahead of his time or just, kind of creepy. Most likely a healthy mix of both, but the man was nothing if not interesting and, thankfully, surrounded himself with many strong women who inspired Wonder Woman.

If I were to give you a run down of all the more scandalous aspects of The Secret History of Wonder Woman the book would come across rather salacious and I suppose an argument can be made for that description, but the truth is a story like Wonder Woman isn’t written in the 1940’s by your average Joe sexist…and woman weren’t being given the job. The history behind Wonder Woman has everything to do with how her stories turned out and give every moment of the comics a little more meaning, and I think that alone makes this book worth reading.

Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep listening. Keep creating.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Secret History of Wonder Woman

  1. I read this book a few years ago as part of a full-scale project I was doing on William Moulton Marston and the origins of Wonder Woman for a comics class. (I’ve actually got a review of this book sitting in my blog drafts right now!) It’s a fantastic book, and it really opened my eyes to the feelings of the world during that time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like it would be an interesting project! and I agree! Some of the more political background things that were happening with the suffragists movement took me by surprise, but I’m glad I know them now! I can’t wait to read your review!

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