Marlene Wagman-Geller

"As far back as I can remember, it was always on my bucket list, even before the term bucket list was coined,
to be a writer. It was a natural progression to want to go from reading books to writing one."
blogpage

Camelot Queen (1929)

Camelot Queen (1929)
Sep 14, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
A rite of passage of many a young girl is to indulge in make-believe, envisioning a tiara, a coach, a prince. With the passing of the years, reality takes over, but the fantasy remained for the one who became both an American and European princess.

What Rabbit Will Emerge? (1813)

What Rabbit Will Emerge? (1813)
Sep 09, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
   “Oh, say can you see….” an elderly man, sporting a white beard on chiseled face, wearing a top hat sprinkled with stars? If the date is July 4, the answer is most certainly yes. Most likely, he is at the head of a parade, standing on his trademark stilts. While Uncle Sam is the mainstay of Americana, lost in the lore is his historical counterpart, Samuel Wilson.

Fractured Fairy Tale (1947)

Fractured Fairy Tale (1947)
Sep 08, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
   Alexandre Dumas fils wrote, “The chains of marriage are so heavy that it takes two to bear them, and sometimes three.” Infidelity has long shadowed wedding vows and when the love triangle involves a future king, carnivorous tabloids descend into a feeding frenzy.

The Emerald Castle (1926)

The Emerald Castle (1926)
Sep 08, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller

 

 

         When Dorothy journeyed along the yellow brick road, she chanted, “Lions, tigers, bears, oh my!” Twenty-six years later, a contemporary queen treads a path of purple whose chant could well be, “Castles, corgis, crowns, oh my!” The modern monarch has a life that rivals the marvels of Oz.

     For the irony file, the world’s longest reigning royal was not slated to become Her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her Other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. At the time of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor’s birth, as her father, Prince Albert, was a second son, the mantle of monarchy belonged to her uncle Edward, the Prince of Wales. Because the princess was never supposed to be queen, her, along with younger sister, Margaret, childhood was relatively typical, insofar as typical entailed having King George V as your grandfather. The calm shattered in 1936 when her uncle Edward VIII repudiated his ermine robes after 325 days to wed American Wallis Simpson. A shocked footman relayed the news to the young princesses. Margaret asked her ten-year-old sister, “Does that mean you will have to be the next queen?” “Yes, someday,” Elizabeth replied. “Poor you,” Margaret responded. Only the arrival of a baby brother would have altered her fate.

     Margaret’s negative comment regarding the crown originated with her father who had sobbed when he and his mother discussed the abdication, partially as he dreaded his stutter would be on public display. Nevertheless, he accepted the role of King George VI, and, along with his wife, Elizabeth, moved with his family to Buckingham Palace. As any excursion into London resulted in a media frenzy, normalcy would never be their norm. In 1933, the king gifted Elizabeth with Dookie, a corgi which helped her cope with the pressures of her station. (She has owned at least thirty of the breed). Queen Mary, who always wore a tiara to dinner even if she and her husband dined alone, drilled protocol into her granddaughter.

      In 1940, with the outbreak of war, the close-knit family were often separated as the king and queen sent their daughters to Windsor Castle, about twenty miles away from the capital, and therefore not a likely target during the Blitz. The girls remained in their sheltered enclave for five years. A perk during the war time austerity was a thatched-cottage playhouse, the Y Bwthyn Bach, a present from the people of Wales, that had perks such as a heated towel rack, an electric fireplace, French dolls, and eight fur coats. In 1945, Elizabeth enlisted in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Services as No 230873 second subaltern Elizabeth Windsor. Photographs of her, alongside the military, became staples in Allied propaganda.

    Following Germany’s defeat, in Buckingham Palace, Elizabeth became reacquainted with her third cousin, Prince Philip Mountbatten, who she had first met at age thirteen at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. At that time, she had been mainly enthralled at Philip’s agility in jumping over tennis nets. Upon their reunion, the seventeen-year-old was still taken with the twenty-two-year-old who had spent the war years as a naval lieutenant on a British destroyer that had been under danger of bombardment by German Stukas. Their match seemed improbable: she was the daughter of King George VI; he was the nephew of the deposed king of Greece; the Windsors were the lords of majestic castles; his family were exiles. Despite their differences, romance blossomed: Philip’s terms of endearment for Elizabeth were Lilibet, Sausage, or Darling. The prince proposed, and the twenty-year-old princess accepted without consulting mum and dad. During their 1947 wedding, the crowned heads of Europe and the world’s most powerful poli

Can We Talk? (1933)

Can We Talk? (1933)
Sep 04, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller

Shakespeare’s clowns were the stand-up comics of the Elizabethan world. Their role: mock the pompous and puncture the pretentious. Paradoxically, the fools were the wise men of the era. As Regan observed in King Lear, “Jesters do oft prove prophets.” Stephen Sondheim’s 1970s song that showcases our need for humor ends, “Quick, send in the clowns/Don’t bother/They’re here.”

Checkmate (1991)

Checkmate (1991)
Sep 01, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
The only piece on a chessboard that symbolizes a woman is the queen-its most powerful player-able to move in any direction. Ironically, females are treated as second-class citizens in the male-dominated game. A blow to sexism arrived when Susan Polgar became the first female grandmaster of chess.

A Good Judge (1981)

A Good Judge (1981)
Aug 30, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
  Before the first female presidential nominee of a major political party was a twinkle in the nation’s eyes, before there was a female speaker of the House of Representatives, a female attorney general, or a female secretary of state, there was the F.W.O.T.S.C. – the first woman on the Supreme Court-an acronym Sandra Day O’Connor used when she ascended America’s loftiest bench.

England's Rose (1961)

England's Rose (1961)
Aug 28, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
  The British national anthem ends with the words, “Long to reign over us/God save the Queen.” A princess never had the opportunity to sit on the throne, and yet forever rules as an immortal icon. 

Indian Summer (1901)

Indian Summer (1901)
Aug 27, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Voracious sexual appetites are traditionally associated with the possessors of testosterone, but history has proved there are Lady Casanovas. Catherine the Great was so hot to trot a joke circulated in St. Petersburg that the canal that received the most use was Catherine’s canal. Mae West’s response to her maid informing her ten men were waiting at the door, “Send one of them home. I’m tired.” In a similar carnal vein, there was a British lady who could have given the Russian empress and the American movie star a run for their money.

The Storm (1875)

The Storm (1875)
Aug 24, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
  Crowned heads usually walk the prescribed path of sumptuous palaces, eye-popping jewelry, envy-worthy travels. A royal woman took this road, but along the way, her life also intertwined with Count Dracula, a Dorothy Parker poem, a revolution-and that was merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

A Perfect Match (1956)

A Perfect Match (1956)
Aug 22, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
The color white is de rigeur for participants in Wimbledon; however, on a metaphorical level, the color is emblematic of the fact that for most of its history, the elite club has been a white Anglo Saxon enclave. A blow was fought against elitism when Angela Buxton became the first Jewish woman, and Althea Gibson became the first black woman, to play at Wimbledon.

Farewell to Thee (1838)

Farewell to Thee (1838)
Aug 21, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Hawaii proves an irresistible magnet for tourists drawn to the azure waves of the Pacific, pink hued sunsets, exotic-colored flowers. Ironically, the beauty of the island nation led to Paradise lost for its first and only queen.

More Human (1903)

More Human (1903)
Aug 14, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
On August 15, 1945, eight days after the first atomic bomb had annihilated thousands of people, Emperor Hirohito delivered a radio broadcast that marked the first time the public heard his voice. He stated that Japan would have “to endure the unendurable and suffer the unsufferable.” The head of an ancient kingdom had accepted the Allied Powers’ demand for unconditional surrender. By his action, Hirohito had saved his country and the chrysanthemum throne, (the name of Japan’s monarchy).  Those who preferred death to the dishonor of surrender committed suicide in front of the palace. At the other end of the spectrum, millions flooded into Manhattan’s Times Square, and the iconic photograph of the sailor planting a kiss on a nurse became the symbol of America’s elation as the curtain descended on World War II.

MY BELOVED WORLD (1954)

MY BELOVED WORLD (1954)
Aug 08, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
A common belief is that those born on the wrong side of the tracks usually end up in the same place-that environment is destiny. But as one woman proved, it is possible to travel far afield from humble roots, especially when equipped with the mindset that dreams do not just have to be for sleeping.

It Took a Yankee (1926)

It Took a Yankee (1926)
Aug 06, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
    Urban legend has it that the word golf is an acronym for gentlemen only ladies forbidden. Although the etymology is incorrect, what is true is that women and sports have often seemed incompatible. If a lady attempted to sneak in during the ancient Olympic Games, the men would throw her off Mount Typaeon. Fortunately, Gertrude Ederle merited a kinder fate, and she became the first woman to conquer the English Channel.

Bon Appetite (1924)

Bon Appetite (1924)
Aug 04, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
The word celebrity used to belong to the provenance of famous musicians, actors, and athletes. It later embraced celebrity chefs: the gourmets who produce Pavlovian responses in dedicated foodies. However, what has been regulated to the shadows is the female Francophile responsible for taking cooks out of the closet and into the mainstream.

Just a Kiss (1968)

Just a Kiss (1968)
Jul 31, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
A half century ago, when the United States was embroiled in race riots triggered by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an era that had experienced the illegality of black and white marriage, Nichelle Nichols became the first black woman to embrace a white man on American television. It was the kiss heard around the galaxy.

England's Rose (1961)

England's Rose (1961)
Jul 29, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller

  

      The British national anthem ends with the words, “Long to reign over us/God save the Queen.” A princess never had the opportunity to sit on the throne, and yet forever rules as an immortal icon. 

In My End (1542)

In My End (1542)
Jul 20, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
“Cat fight,” a sexist term-without a male equivalent, implies women’s interactions involve the sharpening of nails, a fact some males find titillating. A high-profile female-against-female feud involved two British duchesses and engendered endless speculation as to who made who cry. Their alleged spat would pale in comparison to the tensions between two Renaissance frenemies over the rule of a royal roost.

Fortune's Fool! (1537)

Fortune's Fool! (1537)
Jul 19, 2022 by Marlene Wagman-Geller
       In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II will become the first British monarch to mark seventy years on the throne, an event that will be commemorated with a Platinum Jubilee.  In contrast, a crowned head ruled for even less time than Anne Boleyn, the Queen of one thousand days.