Amelia Earhart's views on marriage


Active member
Ooh, I just discovered my marriage vows! (If I should every wish to marry, which I don't).

I just came across the text of this letter from Amelia Earhart to her future husband George Putnam.

"Dear GPP

There are some things which should be writ before we are married -- things we have talked over before -- most of them.

You must know again my reluctance to marry, my feeling that I shatter thereby chances in work which means most to me. I feel the move just now as foolish as anything I could do. I know there may be compensations but have no heart to look ahead.

On our life together I want you to understand I shall not hold you to any midaeval [sic: medieval] code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly. If we can be honest I think the difficulties which arise may best be avoided should you or I become interested deeply (or in passing) in anyone else.

Please let us not interfere with the others' work or play, nor let the world see our private joys or disagreements. In this connection, I may have to keep some place where I can go to be myself, now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all times the confinement of even an attractive cage.

I must extract a cruel promise and that is you will let me go in a year if we find no happiness together.

I will try to do my best in every way and give you that part of me you know and seem to want.


I've always admired Earhart for epitomizing the image of the "solo" woman--but I did not know she had a solo attitude toward love & marriage as well.

And it looks like she envisioned the possibility of a poly or open marriage!


New member
I've been aware of this letter for a while, but for some reason it's been popping up everywhere recently.

I do think it's a good example of nonmonogamy not being something new. And it's definitely good that she knew what she wanted and mostly stood for it (Mostly, because she didn't want to get married at all but ended up doing it anyways).


Active member
Did you ever see the film Amelia,by Mira Nair (one of my fave directors) with Hilary Swank and Richard Gere as Earhart and Putnam? It's beautiful! Their independence and unusual relationship was addressed in it, but it portrays Putnam as jealous of her very close relationship with Gene Vidal, who was Gore Vidal's father (played by Ewan McGregor). It is generally accepted that she and Gene Vidal were lovers. In the film, there is a scene between a very young Gore Vidal and Amelia:

Gore Vidal: Why don't you marry my father? Then I won't be afraid of anything anymore.

Amelia Earhart: I'm already married, to Mr. Putnam.

Gore Vidal: Why can't you be married to Mr. Putnam and my father at the same time?​