Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Megan Mayhew Bergman

By Lynn Willoughby

Almost Famous Women ~ Megan Mayhew Bergman

This collection of short stories had such great potential.  I was so disappointed!
The collection includes stories of Lord Byron’s illegitimate daughter, the early aviatrix Beryl Markham, Oscar Wilde’s niece and ten others.  The shortest, but one of the most interesting, was the story of some female internees at Bergen-Belsen in 1945.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but these stories of badly behaved, hell raising, unconventional outsiders should have been more interesting. Instead, the author seems to get bogged down in details of lesbianism and racial taboos.  In fact, there are entire books written about each of these protagonists, but not many interesting short stories here.
If anything, these short stories did send me to Google many times to read the facts about the women I found interesting.
Maybe my problem is that “celebrity” does not mean much to me, let alone some celebrity’s sister, niece or girlfriend.  However, this little book is well written and I have learned a lot about some obscure historical figures, either from the book or from Google.
  •  Birds of a Lesser Paradise
  •  Phoenix
……………….and others.

Who Knew?

(I just couldn’t resist sharing this!)

When a case of expired lipstick arrived with British requested medical supplies to Bergen-Belsen, there was an uproar.  “I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick…..That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”   Lt Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin  DSO

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