On the 1956 Time Magazine cover. Pen and Sword / mediadrumworld.com

By Tom Dare

A SERIES OF GLAMOROUS IMAGES of one of the most famous women of all time, Marilyn Monroe, have been published as part of a new book which takes a look at the life and times of the Hollywood starlet from a brand-new perspective.

Images from ‘Making Sense of Marilyn’ by Andrew Norman feature the ‘Some Like It Hot’ star in her early years taking trips with her family and friends, while another image shows the 16-year-old Monroe on her first ever wedding day, when she married 21-year-old factory worker James Doughtery in 1942.

Marilyn as a teenager. Pen and Sword / mediadrumworld.com


Further pictures from the book show Monroe and her second husband, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, sharing a meal, with another showing her sharing a laugh with photographer George Barris on the set of 1962 hit ‘Something’s Got to Give.’

Marilyn Monroe is arguably the biggest star in the history of Hollywood, with her name and look transcending the film industry to make her a household name before her untimely death in August 1962.

An outing to the beach, Marilyn front left, her mother, Gladys, rear left. Pen and Sword / mediadrumworld.com


Yet despite her enormous fame the actress remains somewhat of an enigma, with very little known about her private life or the circumstances which led to her death.

Author Andrew Norman, who worked as a GP in Dorset before a spinal injury ended his medical career, has previously penned biographies of such famous faces as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Hardy, T. E. Lawrence, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen and Robert Mugabe.

Marilyn with George Barris in 1962, on the set of Something’s Got to Give. Pen and Sword / mediadrumworld.com


And he says that, despite her early death and a host of contradictory reports about her life, there do still exist enough reliable materials to ‘shed new light’ on the starlet.

“Trustworthy and reliable first-hand accounts of Marilyn do exist,” he writes.

Sharing a joke with renowned actor Sir Lawrence Olivier. Pen and Sword / mediadrumworld.com


“For example, The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe—her first husband James Dougherty’s biography of her; Arthur Miller, her third husband’s autobiography, Timebends; The Fifty Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood by Ezra Goodman; Marilyn: Her Life in her Own Words, by photographer George Barris of New York City; together with statements by her half-sister Berniece Miracle (née Baker).

“Following Marilyn’s death, Inez Melson, Marilyn’s business manager (from 1954 to 1956), was appointed by attorney Aaron R. Frosch (who was a witness to Marilyn’s will) and the court to act as administrator. Inez made a bonfire of Marilyn’s papers, said Berniece Miracle, and ‘Marilyn had tons of papers of all kinds’. However, on the positive side, it is thanks to Inez that two filing cabinets containing Marilyn’s personal effects were saved for posterity.

A young Marilyn poses for the camera in a swimsuit. Pen and Sword / mediadrumworld.com


“Finally, film documentaries of the life and death of Marilyn contain invaluable, first-hand, eyewitness accounts from such important people in her life as George Barris, Hyman Engelberg, Eunice Murray, and Cyd Charisse. In this way, by teasing out what is authentic from what is inauthentic, it is possible to shed new light on the enigmatic character of Marilyn Monroe, who is regarded, arguably, as the world’s most famous ever movie star.

Having dinner with second husband, baseball player Joe DiMaggio. Pen and Sword / mediadrumworld.com


“To make sense of this complex, endlessly fascinating, and all too fragile person, it is necessary to embark on a journey that proves to be both rewarding, and an infinitely moving experience.”

Making Sense of Marilyn by Andrew Norman is published by Pen and Sword, and can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Sense-Marilyn-Andrew-Norman/dp/1781556423