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The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore



James Branch Cabell Library, lecture hall (room 303)
901 Park Avenue, Richmond, VA 23284


Wonder Woman, fighting crime with her super strength and an arsenal of magical weapons, has been an icon of both the comics industry and feminism for generations, but the story of the character's creation by Dr. William Marston is a fascinating case of truth proving to be stranger than fiction. Scholar Jill Lepore delves deep into the seldom-told origins of Wonder Woman and in her book, The Secret History of Woman Woman, shares a tale that is in turns strange, thought provoking and inspiring. The VCU Common Book Program invites you to join us for an evening with Lepore as she discusses this important new addition to pop-cultural and feminist scholarship.

The event will be followed by a book sale and signing and a public reception.

This event is free and open to the public, but please register. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad Street, West Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks. If special accommodations are needed, or to register offline, please call Gregory Kimbrell, events coordinator, at (804) 828-0593 prior to February 22, 2016.


Registration is now closed.

About the Book

The Secret History of Wonder Woman has received rave reviews:

"Jill Lepore's obsessively researched book on Wonder Woman, the four-color embondiment of the women's rights movement, reveals that the life of the character's creator, Dr. William Marston—inventor of the lie detector, charming crank, ardent feminist and secret polygamist—was waaay more colorful than any comic book superhero. Suffering Sappho!" Art Spiegelman, author of Maus (VCU's Summer Reading book, 2009)

"Few historians handle weirdness as deftly or thoughtfully as Lepore... [Her] brilliance lies in knowing what to do with the material she has. In her hands, the Wonder Woman story unpacks not only a new cultural history of feminism, but a theory of history as well." Carla Kaplan, New York Times Book Review

"A Harvard professor with impeccable scholarly credentials, Lepore treats her subject seriously, as if she is writing the biography of a feminist pioneer like Margaret Sanger, the founder of the birth control movement—which this book is, to an extent... Through extensive research and a careful reading of the Wonder Woman comic books, she argues convincingly that the story of this character is an indelible chapter in the history of women's rights." Ariel Gonzalez, Miami Herald

To learn more about the book, Jill Lepore and Wonder Woman, see the VCU Common Book website.


This event is sponsored by the Common Book Program in the VCU Division of Learning Innovation and Student Success and VCU Libraries.

Image: The Secret History of Wonder Woman book cover


VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-0636

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