Wonder Woman born of a polyamorous relationship

Wonder Woman

In the book Eureka!: The Surprising Stories Behind the Ideas That Shaped the World Marlene Wagman-Geller gives the back story on the relationship behind the creation of Wonder Woman.  This story may not be news to many comic book fans, but to me it was.  So in case it is for you, I present it here.

William Marston and Olive Byrne

William Marston and Olive Byrne (standing)

William Moulton Marston, the creator of the polygraph test, was also the creator of Wonder Woman.  William was married to Elizabeth Holloway Marston, a very successful woman in her own right.  He also fell in love with a student of his, Olive Bryne.  He asked Elizabeth if Olive could live with them and with her permission they did and William fathered two children by each of them.

This V-triad was ahead of the polyamory curve back in the 1930’s and was distinguished from polygamy outlawed about 50 years earlier in the U.S.

William died in 1947 of cancer, but Elizabeth and Olive remained family to the day Olive died, Elizabeth even supporting Olive and her children after William’s death.

Elizabeth Holloway Marston

Elizabeth Holloway Marston

William borrowed heavily from both women for the creation of Wonder Woman.  From Elizabeth came independence, intelligence, strength and self-confidence.  From Olive came Wonder Woman’s appearance, the raven black hair, blue eyes and Wonder Woman’s bracelets, which were adapted from bracelets Olive always wore on each arm.

Could a greater tribute be made to the women he loved?  Probably not.