Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Wednesday Discussion: Share Some Fascinating Trivia From the Fiction You've Read

Audrey Munson
I'm a history buff and I love research, so whenever I read something interesting in a novel that's supposedly factual, I enjoy looking it up so I can read more.

Most recently I learned about Audrey Munson,  mentioned in Linda Fairstein's Hell Gate, a novel filled with all kinds of New York City history and trivia.

The tragic life of this model and silent screen actress intrigued me, so I had to do a little research on my own to satisfy my curiosity.

Audrey Munson (June 8, 1891 – February 20, 1996) rose to fame prior to World War I.  She was  known as "Miss Manhattan," "the Exposition Girl," and "American Venus." She was the model or inspiration for more than 15 statues in New York City. 

Fountain of the Setting Sun
Ms. Munson, who posed nude and clothed, was eventually involved in a scandal. While Munson lived in a rooming house, the married owner of the house fell in love with her.  To be with Muson, he killed his wife.  Munson was never interested in this man, who was eventually convicted of murder, but the scandal ruined her career.

Munson began suffering from schizophrenia, and at age 39 was committed to a mental institution.  She remained there for the rest of her life, dying at age 104. 

As many monuments and statues that Audrey Munson posed for, it's ironic that she herself, is buried in an unmarked grave.

Do you have some interesting trivia you'd like to share that you've found in fiction?


Melody said...

Fascinating! And she lived until 1996!! What a tragic life...
I know I've read some interesting history trivia, but I can't think of any right now. :/

Kittie Howard said...

I also enjoy trivia and have been known to google for hours, chasing little bits of info. However, this is the most tragic trivia ever. She didn't deserve this. To live so long in a mental institution.

Thank you for giving life to Audrey Munson.

Hanny said...

She had a life similar to Frances Farmer, who will have her revenge on Seattle.

Old Kitty said...

Wolf Hall made me want to re-visit Thomas Cromwell's life and times!!

I love this history of poor beautiful Ms Munson!! What a tragic figure - ruined by proxy!!!!

Thanks for sharing, take care

Sophia said...

Wow that is a long time to live in a mental institution. Dang. What an undeserved end to her life.
- Sophia.

The Poet said...

I was never good at history, but this is fascinating! Poor girl, such a sad end to her life in an institution for that length of time. Great information. Thanks for sharing.

William Kendall said...

That's a tragic story, Maria... thank you for telling us about her.

Intangible Hearts said...

I enjoyed this story. One of my favorites is the young actress who used to star with famous men in leading roles such as Elvis Presley etc. I forgot her name, but she joined a convent and became a nun.