Nerdy Fact #1434: Wonder Woman was originally based on two women: the wife of creator William Marston and one of his former students that both he and his wife had sexual encounters with. 


How about you actually name ‘em?

Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne were among a number of women who contributed to the original Wonder Woman, and they’re fascinating people in their own right.

Elizabeth Holloway Marston was a brilliant woman. She earned three university degrees in psychology and law at a time when few women received any tertiary education. She was a successful career woman who assisted her husband with his work and was frequently the breadwinner of the family.

The main reason she was able to continue working after having children? Olive Byrne, who was not simply a casual “sexual encounter”, but the Marstons’ lover and life partner. To enable Elizabeth to work, Olive stayed at home and raised both her and Elizabeth’s children. She also wrote for Family Circle and contributed to Marston’s research.

Elizabeth is credited with pushing her husband to create a female superhero, and after his death she worked hard to preserve his vision for the character, urging DC to employ her as the comic’s editor (she was ignored).

Wonder Woman’s bracelet’s are Olive’s bracelets: Olive was known for wearing a pair of wide silver bracelets, and Marston had these in mind when he envisioned Diana’s bullet-deflecting accessories.

Marston died in 1947, but Elizabeth and Olive continued to live together until the end of their lives.

Wait. Clarification please. Are you telling me that the creator of Wonder WOMAN WAS IN A POLY-AMOROUS RELATIONSHIP?

Yep! They were in a poly relationship and had four children together, two by Elizabeth and two by Olive.

(And for those who’ve asked about sources, the Marstons’ story is covered in detail in The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore and Wonder Woman: The Complete History by Les Daniels)


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