The Margaret Mitchell House Atlanta

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

THE MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE - ATLANTA

Date: 10th April 2016

Margaret Mitchell was the author of 'Gone With the Wind' - an immensely successful book and even more successful film - an absolute blockbuster. She came from a relatively well to do Southern Family, was a bit of a Tomboy and was sent to be educated in the North because her mother thought she would receive a more rounded education. In the South she would have predominantly been taught how to be a Southern Belle with accomplishments attuned to running a home and just being a Southern Belle.

Mitchell was a bit of a rebel and didn't like to conform. She loved to write and became a journalist at a time when the whole writing world was male dominated. She made two marriages - to two men who had both been in love with her and shared a room at college. Her first marriage was relatively short lived and very unhappy and then she married her second husband with whom she stayed until her untimely death in her 40's. Sadly she was run over by a drunk driver whilst she was crossing the road in Atlanta close to where she lived.

Margaret and her husband had several different homes in Atlanta and one of them - the one in which she wrote 'Gone With the Wind' - has been turned into a Museum. I wondered how one could possibly have a one hour tour in such a small home but we had an ace guide who was brilliant - Alex Sawdye. Apparently, although spending years writing GWTW, Margaret was loathe to submit it to a publisher. Eventually she was persuaded and committed her one copy to the US Mail. Hardly had she sent the package than she had second thoughts and sent a telegram asking for the book's return. The Editor handled her very well and the book was published in an edition of 10,000 which sold out so quickly that none even left New York.

Her reticence to publish may have been occasioned by the fact that our guide intimated much of the book was actually autobiographical. As we all now know GWTW was her second novel and the first was published recently but couldn't hold a light to her second effort.

The rented apartment, in which Margaret and her husband lived, was very ordinary and simple. It has been filled with appropriate furniture of the time. And on the first floor we were treated to the Newsreel footage from the opening night of the film - and there they are in black and white - Vivien Leigh and her husband Laurence Olivier, Glark Gable and his wife and other members of the cast. What was so interesting were the framed photos, letters and other paraphernalia relevant to her life. Across from the house is another building which demonstrates the background to the casting of GWTW, some of the costume designs. There's also a Documenatry about the whole process but we didn't have the time to watch it. Being away from home I can't transfer photos onto my Blog so will do so when I get back.

Margaret Mitchell

THE MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE - ATLANTA

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