Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949) became one of the most famous American writers with the publication of her novel, "Gone With the Wind
" in 1936. She drew from her own background as a woman growing up in the South, but she also based her story on the controversial history of the South.
Mitchell started out as a journalist, with her earliest articles appearing in the "Journal" in 1922. She began writing "Gone with the Wind" in 1926, though she may never have published the book had she not been angrily goaded into allowing the vice president of Macmillian, Harold Latham, to read the novel. The rest, as they say, is history...
It's somewhat amazing to think of the fanaticism Mitchell's novel still invokes, even so many years after her death. The only other work that's been discovered from Mitchell is "Lost Laysen," which she wrote when she was 16. The novella was published posthumously in 1995.
Despite the small number of her works, the legend of Margaret Mitchell has continued. "Gone With the Wind" has never been out of print. Its popularity continues, with each new generation reading, learning from,and enjoying the tale of Scarlett O'Hara.
Margaret Mitchell Birth:
Margaret "Peggy" Mitchell was born on November 8, 1900 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her father was a historian and lawyer, and her mother was a suffragist. When she was 15, she wrote, "If I were a boy, I would try for West Point, if I could make it, or well I'd be a prize fighter - anything for the thrills."
In 1918, Mitchell graduated from Washington Seminary and began to study medicine at Smith College.
Margaret Mitchell Death:
Margaret "Peggy" Mitchell was hit by a speeding taxi cab on August 11, 1949. She was in the process of crossing the street with her husband, John Marsh, to see Canterbury Tales when the drunk driver hit her.
Margaret Mitchell was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where she died five days later on August 16, 1949.
Margaret Mitchell Marriage:
Margaret Mitchell's boyfriend, Clifford West Henry, died from shrapnel on the battlefields of World War I on October 16, 1918.
Mitchell married Berrien "Red" Kinnard Upshaw on September 2, 1922, but the marriage was not a happy one. Upshaw beat Mitchell, and the violence continued even after the marriage was annulled in 1924. At least after her marriage with Red ended, and with her marriage to John Marsh on June 15, 1925, her life seemed to return to something like normalcy.
Margaret Mitchell Achievements:
Margaret Mitchell's greatest contribution to literature was her "Gone With the Wind," which she began writing in 1926 and published in 1936. At the time of its publication, the book sold more copies than any other American novel in literary history. The story centers around the life and times of Scarlett O'Hara, a Southern woman. Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
The novel has been published in 40 countries, with many critical studies and articles.
Margaret Mitchell Lines From "Gone With the Wind" - Quote:
"Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father. But it was an arresting face, pointed of chin, square of jaw. Her eyes were pale green without a touch of hazel, starred with bristly black lashes and slightly tilted at the ends."
More Lines From "Gone With the Wind" - Quote:
"Death and taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them."
"'I'll think of it all to-morrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. To-morrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, to-morrow is another day.'"
"The south produced statesmen and soldiers, planters and doctors and lawyers and poets, but certainly no engineers and mechanics. Let Yankees adopt such low callings."
"I wish I could care what you do or where you go but I can't... My dear, I don't give a damn."
Margaret Mitchell Quotes:
"The usual masculine disillusionment is discovering that a woman has a brain."
"Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect."
"Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was."
"My pet, the world can forgive practically anything except people who mind their own business."