The men, frightened by their wives or sweeties, would give me a wide berth. And the ladies would gang up in a corner to discuss my dangerous character. But all that was before her death and the revelations surrounding it. It was a tragedy. Whether that final overdose was suicide or not, both men and women were forced to recognize the insecurity and private terrors that had caused her to attempt suicide several times before.
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Men who had never known her wondered if their love and protection might have saved her. Women who had never known her wondered if their empathy and friendship might have done the same. For both women and men, the ghost of Marilyn came to embody a particularly powerful form of hope: the rescue fantasy.
It meant admitting an identity with a woman who always had been a little embarrassing, and who had now turned out to be doomed as well. So are almost all of the nearly 40 books that have been published about Monroe. Bias in the minds of editors played a role, too. Consciously or not, they seemed to assume that only male journalists should write about a sex goddess.
Only when you pick it up in your hand to comfort it … beneath the sickness, the weakness and the innocence, you find a strong bone structure, and a heart beating. As women began to be honest in public, and to discover that many of our experiences were more societal than individual, we also realized that we could benefit more by acting together than by deserting each other. We were less likely to blame or be the victim, whether Marilyn or ourselves, and more likely to rescue ourselves and each other.
In , the tenth anniversary of her death and the birth year of MS. It was like tapping an underground river of interest.
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For instance:. Marilyn had talked about being sexually assaulted as a child, though many of her biographers had not believed her. Women wrote in to tell their similar stories. It was my first intimation of what since has become a documented statistic: one in six adult women has been sexually assaulted in childhood by a family member.
The long-lasting effects — for instance, feeling one has no value except a sexual one — seemed shared by these women and Marilyn.
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Yet most were made to feel guilty and alone, and many were as disbelieved by the grown-ups around them as Marilyn had been. They had continued to do so even after she attempted suicide several times. To gain the seriousness and respect that was largely denied her, and to gain the fatherly protection she had been completely denied, Marilyn married a beloved American folk hero and then a respected intellectual. But Marilyn did not live long enough to see a time in which women sought their own identities, not just derived ones.
During her marriage to Arthur Miller, Marilyn had tried to have a child — but suffered an ectopic pregnancy, a miscarriage — and could not. Letters poured in from women who also suffered from this inability and from a definition of womanhood so tied to the accident of the physical ability to bear a child — preferably a son, as Marilyn often said, though later she also talked of a daughter — that their whole sense of self had been undermined. Most of all, women readers mourned that Marilyn had lived in an era when there were so few ways for her to know that these experiences were shared with other women, that she was not alone.
Now women and men bring the last quarter century of change and understanding to these poignant photographs taken in the days just before her death. It makes them all the more haunting. I still see the self-consciousness with which she posed for a camera. Born in Canterbury, England, in While Christopher Marlowe's literary career lasted less than six years, and his life only 29 years, his achievements, most notably the play The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus , ensured his lasting legacy.
Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury around February 26, this was the day on which he was baptized. He went to King's School and was awarded a scholarship that enabled him to study at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, from late until Marlowe earned his bachelor of arts degree in , but in the university hesitated in granting him his master's degree.
Its doubts perhaps arising from his frequent absences, or speculation that he had converted to Roman Catholicism and would soon attend college elsewhere were set to rest, or at least dismissed, when the Privy Council sent a letter declaring that he was now working "on matters touching the benefit of his country," and he was awarded his master's degree on schedule.
The nature of Marlowe's service to England was not specified by the council, but the letter sent to Cambridge has provoked abundant speculation, notably the theory that Marlowe had become a secret agent working for Sir Francis Walsingham's intelligence service. No direct evidence supports this theory, but the council's letter clearly suggests that Marlowe was serving the government in some secret capacity.
Surviving Cambridge records from the period show that Marlowe had several lengthy absences from the university, much longer than allowed by the school's regulations.
And extant dining room accounts indicate that he spent lavishly on food and drink while there, greater amounts than he could have afforded on his known scholarship income. Both of these could point to a secondary source of income, such as secret government work.
But with scant hard evidence and rampant speculation, the mystery surrounding Marlowe's service to the queen is likely to remain active. Spy or not, after attaining his master's degree, Marlowe moved to London and took up writing full-time. After , Christopher Marlowe was in London, writing for the theater and probably also engaging himself occasionally in government service. What is thought to be his first play, Dido, Queen of Carthage , was not published until , but it is generally thought to have been written while he was still a student at Cambridge. According to records, the play was performed by the Children of the Chapel, a company of boy actors, between and Marlowe's second play was the two-part Tamburlaine the Great c.
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This was Marlowe's first play to be performed on the regular stage in London and is among the first English plays in blank verse. It is considered the beginning of the mature phase of the Elizabethan theater and was the last of Marlowe's plays to be published before his untimely death. There is disagreement among Marlowe scholars regarding the order in which the plays subsequent to Tamburlaine were written.