Years after her death, an archive of Marilyn Monroe’s poems, letters, notes, recipes, and diary entries surfaced. The archive included Monroe admitting that her first marriage, at the age of 16, was to keep her out of the orphanage when her caretaker was in the psychiatric hospital.

Marilyn and Her Monsters

For all the millions of words she has inspired, Marilyn Monroe remains something of a mystery. Now a sensational archive of the actress’s own writing—diaries, poems, and letters—is being published. With exclusive excerpts from the book, Fragments, the author enters the mind of a legend: the scars of sexual abuse; the pain of psychotherapy; the betrayal by her third husband, Arthur Miller; the constant specter of hereditary madness; and the fierce determination to master her art.

She was always late for class, usually arriving just before they closed the doors. The teacher was strict about not entering in the middle of an exercise or, God forbid, in the middle of a scene. Slipping in without makeup, her luminous hair hidden under a scarf… Continue Reading (26 minute read)

5 thoughts on “Years after her death, an archive of Marilyn Monroe’s poems, letters, notes, recipes, and diary entries surfaced. The archive included Monroe admitting that her first marriage, at the age of 16, was to keep her out of the orphanage when her caretaker was in the psychiatric hospital.”

  1. PrincessInternet

    My great-grandmother did the same in the 1930s. Her mother died in childbirth when my great-grandma was 9, and the baby died 3 months later.

    When she was 14, her father was hit in the head at work and began having seizures and blackouts. He checked himself into a mental institution when he became violent and almost killed someone during a blackout.

    With nowhere to go, she married a man in his 20s at age 15 and had my grandma when she was 16.

    Despite the obvious horror of that situation, my great-grandfather was supposedly a very nice man and she had a decent life with him. She lived into her 90s, as well.

  2. Jest_stir

    I listened to the Timesuck podcast about her the other day. It definitely changed my view on her. For the better. Rough life and did her best.

  3. GFTurnedIntoTheMoon

    *Another fact:*

    Everyone knows Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose.

    Most people don’t know she was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, and had multiple surgeries for it during her lifetime. Endo is a chronic illness can come with debilitating pelvic pain. We don’t know what causes it, and there is no cure.

    While we can’t draw a direct line between her overdose and her endo, I personally wouldn’t be surprised if her drug use was related to her pain.

    Endo is *incredibly* painful for some. (Myself included) A few months ago, a friend of mine passed away due to an accidental overdose on painkillers that she took to manage her endo pain.

  4. graegirl

    I believe the full story is that her mother was in fact hospitalized and her foster parents were moving and didn’t want to take her with them. Poor Norma Jean was shuffled around so much.

  5. Voidsabre

    Fun fact: Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth were born only two months apart

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