Behind Closed Doors: History in First Person: Seven Scenes of Shattered Love. by Doris Gwaltney
“For most people, death comes behind closed doors… a quiet event, perhaps shared by friends and family…But for some there’s drama, even horror as some commit suicide, are murdered, or executed.” From Author’s Preface
Following the success of A Mirror in Time, the current collection of performance monologues, Behind Closed Doors is also a gripping study of historical married couples. However, these are set in prisons, bedrooms, palaces, gardens and a bunker. Unlike A Mirror in Time, these scenes are dark, tense moments in lives that have been bought and sold; lived and mourned. From Sir Walter Raleigh's ignominious demise in the Tower of London, to Alice Roosevelt’s short marriage with Teddy, loves are stripped bare. Cruel truth is touched by Marie Antoinette and Adolf Hitler. Marriage is written in new language by William Blake and Virginia Woolf. Readers are invited behind History’s closed doors and should enter at their own risk.
Behind Closed Doors is Doris Gwaltney’s second collection of historical monologues published by ScriptWorks Press. Along with A Mirror in Time, this prolific writer from Smithfield, Virginia has penned SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER, DUNCAN BROWDIE, and a middle-grade novel,
HOMEFRONT, published by Simon & Schuster Books. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous local and university papers, and she teaches writing for the LifeLong Learning Society at Christopher Newport University.
From the book: (Alice and Theodore Roosevelt)
In the early days of our courtship… Before I came to love him… It seemed to me that everywhere I looked there was Teddy. He wanted me to walk… incessantly walk. I had the feeling he was wearing me down. I tried to make excuses, but mostly he would not hear of it. Once I told my cousin Rose that he was like a bouncing ball that will not stop. Rose began to laugh and then I did, too. I think that might have been the day I began to love him.
I do my best to act as if I am pleased with the baby. But when I turn toward the bed and see my wife looking weaker and weaker, I almost lose control. For I want her so. She is my dream, my heart’s desire. This baby looks so much like her. It’s as if she has stolen her mother’s very eyes and mouth and cheek bones. As if only one of them can have this beauty and Alice must leave the world to make place for this crying baby. Oh, God, I cannot bear it.