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Discover the surprising story of Wonder Woman’s feminist, polygamist creator

Discover the surprising story of Wonder Woman’s feminist, polygamist creator
(Images: Wonder Woman: courtesy of Random House; Lepore: Dari Michele)

The Secret History of Wonder Woman, the new book by Harvard history prof and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore, is much more than the genesis story of a beloved superhero. Behind the Amazon warrior princess’s invincible bracelets, star-studded tiara and Lasso of Truth is the tale of her creator, William Moulton Marston, an American psychologist and writer. Using unpublished diaries and letters, Lepore’s impeccably researched, century-spanning volume documents Marston’s improbable existence, which somehow included both writing a magazine column that celebrated conventional family life, and, in private, polygamy and BDSM. (Ironically, Marston’s other claim to fame is the invention of a blood pressure test used in modern lie detectors.) At the Lillian H. Smith Library Lepore will converse with Globe and Mail columnist Nathalie Atkinson about how Marston channelled his suppressed identity into the pages of his series, and how his feminist superhero became an embodiment of the women’s rights movement in America.

Thurs. Dec. 11. FREE. Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College St., 416-393-7746, beguilingbooksandart.com.

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