Written in 1962 and published in five years later, "Museums and Women" is a series of vignettes featuring each of the most important women in his Updike's life through that time: his strong-willed, mercurial mother; the schoolgirl its hero decides he loves; the Radcliffe student (a version of Updike's Mary Pennington) he would marry; and the lover for whom he, like Updike, would nearly leave his wife. Beyond its status as an autonomous work of fiction, "Museums and Women" is a matrix for Updike's semi-autobiographical treatments of love, sex, marriage, and infidelity. Focusing on "Museum and Women," the essay moves outward to consider Updike's life and work in thematically related writings across his career: stories of the 1960s and beyond, Marry Me: A Romance, Of the Farm, Couples, Self-Consciousness: Memoirs, and Villages, a late novel comprising a reassessment of his life as it was shaped by his relationships to women.