Marie Benedict brings many historical figures to life in her novels. She intentionally choose women that have been overlooked by history. In her own words she writes about “unknown but key women of the past.”
Thus, she portrays Mileva Maric, in The Other Einstein, Hedy Lamar in The Only Woman in the Room, Churchill’s wife in Lady Clementine, Agatha Christie in The Mystery of Mrs. Christie.
She also co-wrote The Personal Librarian about Belle da Costa Greene, the personal librarian of J.P. Morgan, who hid her racial identity in order to work for one of the most powerful men.
One of the most astounding portraits is Rosalind Franklin in Benedict’s Her Hidden Genius. This novel gives us a real sense who Rosalind was as a person yet it also depicts the tremendous obstacles she overcame to pursue her scientific endeavors.
Rosalind faced resistance from her own family who wanted her to marry and work for Jewish charities. Mostly, though, she felt condescension from a small group of male scientists. Crick, Watson, and Wilkins, who won the Nobel prize, used her research–along with the famous photo 51 without crediting her.
Pair this book, Her Hidden Genius, with the non-fiction book, The Secret of Life.