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Margaret Mitchell Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Gone with the Wind (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost Laysen (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Margaret Mitchell, Reporter (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Want to Be Famous: The Writings of Young Margaret Mitchell (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Gone with the Wind Letters (With: Richard Harwell) (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dynamo Going to Waste: Letters to Allen Edee, 1919-1921 (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon

Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was born on November 8, 1900 and was an American journalist and novelist.

Margaret won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937 and the National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel in 1936 for “Gone With the Wind”. It is one of the most popular novels of all time, selling over thirty million copies.

The novel was famously adapted into an Academy Award winning movie in the year 1939 which starred Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Olivia de Havilland. It became the highest grossing movie in Hollywood history, and won a record breaking amount of Oscars.

Young Margaret, who was an avid reader, read “boys’ stories” written by G. A. Henty, along with the “Rover Boys” series by Edward Stratemeyer, and the “Tom Swift” series. Her mom read Mary Johnston’s work to her before she was able to read herself. They each wept as they read Johnston’s “The Long Roll” and “Cease Firing”.

She was a precocious and imaginative writer, and started with stories about animals before progressing on to adventure stories and fairy tales. She would fashion book covers for each of her stories, binding the tablet paper pages together and then adding artwork of her own.

By the age of eleven she named her publishing enterprise “Urchin Publishing Co”. Later she would write her stories in notebooks. Mary Belle Mitchell kept the stories her daughter wrote in white enamel bread boxes and many boxes of her stories were then stored in the house by the time she headed off to college.

At the age of fifteen, she wrote a romance novella, called “Lost Laysen” in the year 1916. She gave this novella, which was written into two notebooks to Henry Love Angel, a boyfriend. He died in the year 1945 and the novella stayed undiscovered among some of the letters that she had written him until the year 1994. It was published some eighty years after it was written, in the year 1996, and was a New York Times Best Seller.

During this same time, she is known to have penned a four hundred page novel called “The Big Four”, about girls in a boarding school. It is believed to be lost, having either been destroyed by Mitchell herself or by somebody else after she died.

During the Great War, she went to Atlanta’s Washington Seminary (now called The Westminster Schools), which was a “fashionable” private girls’ school that had an enrollment of more than three hundred students. Margaret was an active member of the Drama Club, playing male characters in “Merchant of Venice” (Launcelot Gobbo) and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Nick Bottom), among some others. She also penned a play that she also acted in, which was about some snobbish college girls.

Margaret, during World War II, was a volunteer for the American Red Cross and raised some money for the war effort by selling war bonds. She was also active in Home Defense, put patches on trousers, and sewed hospital gowns. She placed her own personal attention in writing letters to the men in uniform: sailors, soldiers, and marines, sending humor, her sympathy, and encouragement their way.

She married to Berrien “Red” Upshaw, a man that was a few months younger than Margaret, on September 2, 1922, much to the disapproval of her family. The best man was John Marsh, whom she later married. The couple lived with her dad at the Mitchell home. By that same December, the marriage with Upshaw dissolved and he left. Margaret suffered both emotional and physical abuse, as a result of Upshaw’s violent temper and alcoholism.

On July 4, 1925, she married John Marsh, her second husband and five years her senior that worked as a copy editor and came from Kentucky that worked for the Associated Press.

When she was still legally married to Upshaw and in need of income for herself, she got a job writing feature articles for The Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. She got little, if any, encouragement from her family or “society” to pursue a career in the field of journalism, and didn’t have any prior newspaper experience. Margaret’s first piece, called “Atlanta Girl Sees Italian Revolution”, was published on New Year’s Eve 1922, and she wrote on a wide variety of topics from Confederate generals to King Tut to fashions.

Her journalism career came to an end less than four years later, with her final piece appearing on May 9, 1926. Months after she married John, she quit because of an ankle injury which would not heal correctly and decided to become a full time wife. While working for the Atlanta Journal, she penned a total of 85 news stories, 129 feature articles, and many book reviews. A collection of her articles were collected and republished in book form.

May of 1926, she penned a society column for the Sunday Magazine, “Elizabeth Bennet’s Gossip”, which she wrote until August. Her husband started to grow tired from lugging the armloads of books home from the library to keep her mind busy as she hobbled around the house. John emphatically suggested to her that she write a book of her own, rather than just “reading thousands of them”. Margaret typed the novel over the course of three years on a Remington Portable No. 3 typewriter. She would use parts of the manuscript to prop a wobbly couch up.

On August 11, 1949, she was hit by a speeding car while she crossed Peachtree Street at 13th Street in Atlanta with John Marsh, her husband, as they were on their way to see A Canterbury Tale that night. She died at the age of 48 on August 16, 1949 without fully regaining consciousness.

“Gone With the Wind” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 1936. Here are the characters which have become symbols of desire and passion. Scarlett O’Hara (a flirtatious woman)and Rhett Butler (a darkly handsome man). Behind them are their more gentler counterparts: Melanie Hamilton and Ashley Wilkes.

While the affairs and lives of these most absorbing characters continue to play out against the tumult of the Civil War, this book reaches the dramatic heights that have continued to sweep generations of readers off of their feet.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Margaret Mitchell

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