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Get personal with Marie Benedict
Marie Benedict is the pseudonym for Heather Terrell. She has also published novels under her real name. She is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms.
Other Books by Marie Benedict
Did you know?
The Only Woman in the Room is a fictionalized account of Hedy Lamarr. Although better known for her Silver Screen exploits, the Austrian actress, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications following her emigration to the United States. She is widely thought to have invented WiFi.
1. Talk about Hedy's marriage to Friedrich Mandl. Was there any indication beforehand of his jealous and violent nature, any clues that might have warned Hedy off? What were the familial and political pressures that convinced Hedy, merely a teenager, to marry a man much older than she?
2. Once in America, how did Hedy's grief and guilt inspire her to turn to scientific investigation? How had her father helped prepare her for the rigors of science?
3. Are you able to grasp the basics of frequency-hopping, as well as its potential boon to the war effort? Does the author do an a good job explaining the science?
4. Talk about the era's view of women. How did Hedy react to the misogyny, prejudice, even humiliation that she faced in her attempt to interest the military in her invention. Might her beauty and fame as a "mere" film star have made it even more difficult for her to have her invention taken seriously?
5. Follow-up to Question 4: Do a bit of research into other women in history who faced similar barriers in their attempts to penetrate the male domains of science and technology. Consider the plight of the women of color at Nasa in the 1950s (Hidden Figures); or Grete Hermann, who in the 1930s found a flaw in the great mathematician John von Neumann's proof for quantum physics yet whose finding was ignored. Consider Henrietta Swan Leavitt, who in 1912 devised the method of calculating the distances of stars yet was prohibited, as a female, from operating the Harvard Observatory's telescopes. Her vital contribution to astronomy, of course, went unrecognized. Also, consider Elizebeth Smith Friedman, who, along with her husband William, pioneered modern-day cryptology, playing a major role in winning World War II. Her work went unrecognized for decades.
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The Only Woman in the Room by
Publication Date: 2019-01-08
She possessed a stunning beauty and a stunning mind. Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her.
The Spymistress by
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
Born to slave-holding aristocracy in Richmond, Virginia, and educated by Northern Quakers, Elizabeth Van Lew was a paradox of her time. When her native state seceded in April 1861, Van Lew’s convictions compelled her to defy the new Confederate regime. Pledging her loyalty to the Lincoln White House, her courage would never waver, even as her wartime actions threatened not only her reputation, but also her life. Van Lew’s skills in gathering military intelligence were unparalleled. She helped to construct the Richmond Underground and orchestrated escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison under the guise of humanitarian aid. Her spy ring’s reach was vast, from clerks in the Confederate War and Navy Departments to the very home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Although Van Lew was inducted posthumously into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, the astonishing scope of her achievements has never been widely known.
The Girls in the Picture by
Publication Date: 2018-01-16
It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone's lips these days is "flickers"-the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling- writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford. The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution. But their ambitions are challenged both by the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender-and their astronomical success could come at a price.
America's First Daughter by
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
The untold story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph--a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy. From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson's oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother's death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. It is in Paris that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father's troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love--with her father's protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William's wife and still be a devoted daughter. As scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.