The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Sarah Churchwell - review by Sheridan Morley

Sheridan Morley

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The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe


Granta Books 384pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

HOW MANY LIVES of Marilyn Monroe do we actually need? On my shelves alone there are six major biographies, not counting books entirely devoted to the rumours surrounding her death; and now, opening on Broadway this season, comes a play by her last husband, Arthur Miller, about the catastrophic 1961 filming of The Misfits, which effectively ended her career, their marriage, and her life.

We should be thankful to Sarah Churchwell, who in her first book seems to have invented an altogether new form of biography: as she tells us, it 'does not promise (or indeed endeavour) to reveal "the private woman"; I have . . . restricted myself to publicly available stories and

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