Mitchell, Margaret (1900–1949)
Mitchell, Margaret (1900–1949)
American author who won the Pulitzer Prize for Gone With the Wind. Name variations: Peggy Mitchell; Peg Marsh. Born Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell on November 8, 1900, in Atlanta, Georgia; died on August 16, 1949, from injuries suffered when she was struck near her home by an automobile; daughter of Eugene Muse Mitchell (an Atlanta lawyer) and Mary Isabel (Stephens) Mitchell, known as May Belle; married Berrien "Red" Upshaw, on September 2, 1922 (divorced 1924); married John Marsh, on July 4, 1925; no children.
Except for a year spent at Smith College in Massachusetts, spent nearly all her life in Atlanta, working for a time for the Atlanta Journal before an ankle injury forced her to leave the paper; during convalescence, began work on the first of what would be many drafts of her epic novel, Gone With the Wind, written over a period of nine years; published Gone With the Wind (1936); won the Pulitzer Prize (1937); attended premiere of David O. Selznick's award-winning film of her book (1939); became an international celebrity, with her book translated into more than two dozen languages, before the outbreak of World War II; was an outspoken advocate of authors' rights and pursued several legal actions through the courts to protect her rights to her novel. An earlier novella, Lost Laysen, was discovered in 1994.
The joking began whenever Margaret Mitchell's friends came to visit her cramped apartment on Atlanta's Crescent Avenue. "The Dump," as Mitchell wryly called it, had become a hangout during the Depression for the group of journalist friends of which she and her husband John Marsh were members in good standing, a result of their work at the Atlanta Journal. Now, with Mitchell retired from the paper because of troublesome health, the apartment had become a sort of giant filing cabinet for the novel everyone knew she had been working on since the late 1920s. The manuscript pages that no one was allowed to read peeked out of drawers, or acted as levelers for tipsy furniture or, stacked waist-high, as a place to balance one's drink during a visit. "We all joked about it: 'Well, you know she's writing the World's Greatest Novel'," journalist Harvey Smith recalled many years later. "And, by God, she was!" Smith's description of Gone With the Wind is entirely accurate, for the only book to have sold more copies is the Bible. In a sense, Mitchell had been writing her epic of Southern survival since childhood. Her older brother Stephens Mitchell once claimed that his little sister had been scribbling away when she was just ten years old, even these early efforts often featuring a plucky Civil War heroine beset by hard times and besieged by the advances of aggressive men, often Yankees. Only four of these tales survive, among them the story of a Union officer caught behind Confederate lines who falls in love with a daughter of the South.
Mitchell's fictional settings and characters were hardly surprising, given her family history and surroundings. Her father Eugene Muse Mitchell was a well-known Atlanta lawyer whose family name had been common all over the South from Revolutionary War days, belonging to famous planters, preachers and patriots. He was often described as the perfect Southern gentleman, although the less charitably inclined considered him emotionally inhibited and dull. No one could accuse his wife, May Belle Mitchell , of the same. Born Mary Isabel Stephens, she was descended from Irish immigrants who had come to Atlanta in the 1850s to establish a successful retail business. She was gregarious, outspoken, and much respected for her fiery temper. Particularly infuriating to May Belle was the complacent nature of genteel Southern women who refused to support her efforts for the suffrage movement and for increased educational opportunities for their gender.
History hung around Margaret's childhood as heavily as the humid air of an Atlanta summer. The rambling Victorian house perched high on Jackson Street where Mitchell was born on November 8, 1900, had a commanding view of the city Sherman had burned to the ground less than 40 years before, and had served as a Confederate hospital before the disaster. Crumbling old mansions whose owners had not survived the War of Northern Aggression could still be seen just a short buggy ride away; veterans of the great conflict were still in plentiful supply, full of stories for the little Mitchell girl with the strawberry-blonde hair and blue eyes; and the city's troubled racial heritage burst into full flame in 1906, when Margaret was just five, as angry mobs of whites and African-Americans clashed in the streets and an all-white militia camped on the lawn of the house.
Even more memorable were the stories Mitchell heard as a girl during summer visits with relatives at the Stephenses' country retreat, Rural Home, out among the dirt roads of Clayton County. There, her aunts and uncles and grandparents told stories of a war that seemed to have happened only yesterday. "I sat on the bony knees of veterans and the fat, slippery laps of great-aunts," Mitchell later wrote, "and heard them talk about … how nice thick wrapping paper felt when put between the skin and the corset, in the cold days during the blockade when woolen goods were scarce, and how Grandpa Mitchell walked nearly fifty miles after the battle of Sharpsburg with his skull cracked in two places from a bullet. They didn't talk of these happenings as history … but just as part of their lives, and not especially epic parts." The stories seemed so fresh that Mitchell often joked to friends she had not realized the South had lost the war until she was ten years old.
But May Belle was determined that her daughter's future would not be directed by past glories or tragedies, and instilled in Margaret early on the need for independent thinking. When Mitchell once complained that her school work, especially mathematics, was boring, May Belle hoisted her into a buggy and drove out to suburban Atlanta, past the dilapidated plantations collapsing into the red clay. She pointed out to Margaret that fine young ladies just like herself had once lived there, "charming, embroidering, china-painting one-time belles who, after the war had deprived them of their means, degenerated pitifully." "She told me," Mitchell remembered many years later, "that my own world was going to explode under me someday, and God help me if I didn't have some weapon to meet the world." To May Belle, that weapon was education and a voice at the ballot box.
In 1912, the Mitchells moved to a new house at 1149 Peachtree Street, on the north side of Atlanta. Modern-day Atlanta's most commercially developed area, it was in those days a newly opened suburb of the city, divided into spacious lots where whites could escape the tensions of the older part of the city which had produced the race riots six years earlier. During these years, Mitchell witnessed the devastating fire of 1917 that destroyed antebellum Atlanta, including the old Mitchell home on Jackson Street, and left 10,000 homeless. Many oldtimers found it eerily similar to Sherman's fiery conquest of that same section of the city, especially when martial law was declared in the fire's aftermath and armed troops roamed the streets.
Along with other girls of her race and station, Margaret attended whites-only public schools through the sixth grade and was then enrolled in private schools to finish her adolescent education. Soldiers flooded Atlanta again as she became a young woman, the city being an important training site for World War I troops. Mitchell's first love affair, however, was not with a dashing Southern military man but with an aristocratic young New Yorker who had been sent to Atlanta for boot camp. Eugene's objections to his daughter's infatuation with a Yankee were to little effect, since May Belle thought the young man from another world would broaden Margaret's horizons; and, as she predicted, Margaret's crush evaporated quickly enough once the young man was shipped off to Europe.
Eugene's protestations over May Belle's choice of a college for Margaret were equally fruitless. May Belle had chosen Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, about as far away from Southern sensibilities as one could get. A childhood friend of Margaret's was enrolled at the school, from whose parents May Belle had first learned of Sophia Smith 's donation nearly a century earlier to found a college that would provide an education for young ladies equal to that available to young men. Then, too, there was the proximity of Northampton to New York, which mother and daughter visited in the spring of 1918 and which would be a source of further intellectual stimulation. Mitchell was less enthusiastic than her mother about the idea, especially after a summer visit to an errant Stephens relative who had married a Northerner and moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. There was too much ostentation, Margaret complained to her father in a letter back home, too much Yankee emphasis on money and possessions. But in September of 1918, Mitchell began her freshman term at Smith.
Her first weeks away from the strictures of Southern maidenhood were heady ones. "I seemed to feel something within my innermost 'me' uncoiling and stretching and awakening," she wrote in her diary of that autumn. But her soaring spirits soon came back to earth, a Northern earth that had no place for magnolias or peach trees and where one lived in small stuffy rooms to avoid the freezing temperatures, rather than enjoying cool evenings on broad verandas. Her growing distress in such unfamiliar surroundings burst out in the now-famous incident in which Margaret demanded to be switched to another history class rather than share a classroom with one of Smith's few African-American students. It was an odd incident in light of Mitchell's future actions and quickly shrugged off as Southern eccentricity by many of her Yankee acquaintances, for whom a black person in a college classroom was an equally new experience. Mitchell complained to her mother that her poor history grades were a result of her protest and accused the teacher of hypocrisy, wanting to know if the professor had ever "undressed and nursed a Negro woman, or sat on a drunk Negro man's head to keep him from being shot by police," as Margaret had done during the tense atmosphere in the aftermath of the Atlanta fire. Mitchell later said that she had been close to a nervous breakdown during her time at Smith, although she must have hidden it exceedingly well from classmates who remembered her sense of humor and ability to get along with just about everyone.
As the winter term was beginning in January of 1919, Mitchell learned that her mother had fallen ill with the deadly strain of influenza that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the pandemic of 1918–19. May Belle died a day before Margaret arrived back in Atlanta. "I should have liked to have known her after I was grown up," Mitchell lamented, but May Belle had done the next best thing by dictating a lengthy letter to her daughter before she died. "Care for your father when he is old, but never let this or anyone else's life interfere with your real life," she advised. "Give of yourself with both hands and overflowing heart, but give only the excess, after you have lived your own life." Mitchell attempted to heed the letter's admonitions, returning to Smith to complete the winter term; but she left permanently in June of that year to assume the management of her father's household.
"Frankly, I wouldn't call housekeeping a bed of roses," she groused after a few months back in Atlanta marked by frequent disputes with gardeners, chauffeurs, cooks and maids. But there was some solace to be found from the active social life presented to a young white woman of good family in Atlanta, and a good deal of amusement in raising the carefully applied eyebrows of Atlanta matrons in a manner that would have made May Belle proud. Margaret's coming out in the fall of 1920 was sedate enough, but her charity work at African-American hospitals was considered sufficiently ill-advised to deny her entry into the Junior League, white society's charitable organization for its young ladies. Then there was Margaret's scandalous public performance with a male partner of the Apache Dance, an erotic pas de deux imported from Paris which was then taking the country by storm. This was enough to attract the attention of the Atlanta Journal's society gossip columnist, "Polly Peachtree," who suggested that Miss Mitchell was being seen in the company of far too many men than was good for her. "She has in her brief life … had more men really, truly 'dead in love' with her, more honest to goodness suitors than almost any other girl in Atlanta," the columnist sniffed. Among the young suitors was Henry Love Angel, a childhood sweetheart on whom Mitchell would bestow a gift that would cause quite a stir 70 years later, John Marsh, a quiet, studious newspaper reporter, and Berrien "Red" Upshaw, the rowdy son of an old north Georgia family whose escapades were the talk of Atlanta. Margaret, it was said, had as many as five suitors at a time. "I think a man who makes improper proposals is a positive necessity in a girl's life," she wrote in her diary, although she quickly followed the statement by insisting she had never actually accepted any of them.
It was Red Upshaw who finally won her hand, and they were married on September 2, 1922. Mitchell, one friend said, went through with it only because she felt sorry for Upshaw, and no one was surprised when the marriage foundered after only ten months. Upshaw, described by his own father as "nervous and eccentric," had no skills to speak of and occupied himself with bootlegging liquor during those Prohibition years, while objecting to Margaret's success in landing a job with the Atlanta Journal. Particularly upsetting to him was Mitchell's insistence on using her maiden name for her byline. Upshaw argued constantly with Eugene, with whom the couple lived, until Mitchell finally told her husband to leave and filed for a divorce. Margaret described this period as one of "black depression" for which she blamed a fall from a horse and a subsequent series of illnesses and injuries.
The newspaper job provided some relief. Her first attempt to get herself hired as a staff reporter had been rebuffed, there being no female reporters on the staff and no desire on the editor's part to set a precedent. But when she heard that the lone woman who wrote for the paper's Sunday magazine section had left to have a baby, Mitchell got herself an interview with the magazine's editor. Angus Perkerson either believed the tales Margaret spun about her previous experience or admired the imagination that invented them. "I had no newspaper experience and had never had my hands on a typewriter," Mitchell later wrote, "but by telling poor Angus … outrageous lies about how I had worked on the Springfield [Massachusetts] Republican … and swearing I was a speed demon on a Remington, I got the job." She wrote over a hundred pieces for the magazine during three-and-a-half years, including book reviews, gossip columns, advice to the lovelorn, or whatever else Perkerson threw her way. Perkerson paid her what, to him, must have been the highest compliment by once telling her that she wrote "like a man." He was particularly impressed by her ability to capture the personalities of her subjects so vividly that illustrations were hardly needed for her articles. Also of interest to Perkerson, no doubt, was Mitchell's apparent attachment to the Journal's copy editor, the same John Marsh she had once rejected in favor of Red Upshaw.
Marsh had been Upshaw's roommate when both men had been pursuing Margaret Mitchell, then known as Peg or Peggy, and he confessed to being in love with her ever since returning from his World War I service. "John hardly talked at all, but he was very polite, a gentleman, a real gentle man," Perkerson later said of him. "And he was devoted to her, too, waited on her hand and foot." Others were less kind, considering Marsh dull and pedantic and hardly a match for the vivacious Margaret. But she accepted Marsh's proposal to her on the condition that she see a bit of the world without him before settling down. She wanted, she said, "to visit the ends of the earth, and judge them," but her planned journey of discovery to South America and Europe ended at her first stop, Cuba, where the perils of a woman traveling alone became evident. "Latin gentlemen," she told her diary, "have as much chivalry in their souls as hungry sharks." She was back in Atlanta by early 1925 and married John Marsh on July 4.
This time, Mitchell insisted she and her husband live in their own home and not her father's. Their apartment on Crescent Court in mid-town Atlanta was convenient to the Journal's offices but had little else to recommend it. "The Dump," in fact, became somewhat of a prison during the winter of 1926, when a mysterious arthritic condition in one ankle proved so serious that Margaret could hardly walk and was forced to rely on special shoes or crutches to navigate the apartment. By the summer of that year, her black moods had returned. "Just at present I'm about as pleasant to live with as a porcupine or a snapping turtle," she wrote to a friend in July. She had left the Journal some months earlier, encouraged by Marsh's suggestion that she turn her talents to writing fiction; but a Jazz Age novel she began was quickly abandoned along with another about a fading Southern belle and her mulatto lover. But in between earning money with freelance projects from the Journal, she kept pecking away at a third project. It was a Civil War romance she probably began in late 1926 or early 1927, written in bits and pieces over the next several years. "She made such little noise, I thought she was only writing a letter to a friend," the housekeeper later told expectant reporters when Gone With the Wind was finally published.
Mitchell said little about the book while she was writing it, except to tell a visitor in 1930: "It stinks and I don't know why I bother with it." Even after its publication, she was reluctant to discuss the book's genesis. She had the entire story in her head from the start, she said, but wrote it so haphazardly that the last chapter, in which Melanie dies, was actually the one she wrote first. She claimed she could have written her sweeping tale in a year, instead of ten, but found it hard to write full-time because it was such an ordeal for her. "Night after night I have labored and labored and have wound up with not more than two pages," she groused to one interviewer. "After reading these efforts on the morning after, I have whittled and whittled until I had no more than six lines salvaged. Then I had to start all over again." She denied rumors that her husband had helped her write it, claiming he had never even read it until after it had been sold. She objected to all attempts to trace the origin of her characters, although it is hard not see at least a little of May Belle Mitchell's fiery Irish temper in Scarlett O'Hara (originally named Pansy), or Red Upshaw's belligerence in Rhett Butler, or Eugene Mitchell's southern gentility in Ashley Wilkes; but she viewed all such comparisons with scorn. "If you publish that Bela Lugosi is like Shirley Temple [Black] or that Deanna Durbin is like Jimmy Cagney," she wrote the editor of Photoplay, "your error would be no greater."
Even more irksome to her were complaints from Southerners that Gone With the Wind betrayed the South, with a heroine who turns her back on her heritage. Mitchell admitted that the novel was not what she called a "moon on the magnolias" view of the South, but was an accurate picture of a ruptured society visited with a terrible war for its sins. "There never was anything to those folks but money and darkies," Mitchell has Grandma Fontaine say in the book, "and now that the money and the darkies are gone, those folks will be Cracker in another generation." Margaret admitted to being embarrassed when she was included on lists of "Southern" writers, with their nostalgic geography of white-columned mansions, loyal slaves, and gentle masters. "North Georgia was certainly no such country, if it ever existed anywhere," she pointed out, "and I took great pains to describe north Georgia as it was."
But in 1931, when Mitchell finished writing a first draft of what she considered a second-rate novel, those debates and discussions were still in the future. She and John moved that year into a new apartment on 17th Street, closer to downtown Atlanta, where Margaret attempted for the next two years to come up with something the novel still lacked, a first chapter. Her health problems returned, particularly after a car accident in 1934 which left her unable to move her head and neck for three months afterward. But she was sufficiently recovered by the autumn of 1934 to attend the Georgia Writers Conference, where she sat next to George Latham, a book scout for the Macmillan Company who was on an annual tour to find new material for publication. A friend of Margaret's, who had left Atlanta some years earlier and moved to New York, worked for Macmillan, and had told Latham to look up Peggy Mitchell and ask about the novel everyone knew she had been working on for years. Latham asked to see the manuscript several times during the evening, Mitchell claiming each time she had nothing to show him. But as Latham packed the next day to catch a train for Charleston, Margaret called to say she was downstairs in the hotel lobby with something to give him. She presented him with a stack of 70 manila envelopes. "Take the damn thing before I change my mind," she said before hurrying away. The manuscript had no title, no first chapter, and was in a state of haphazard organization; but Latham knew what he had after reading just a dozen pages. "I see in it the making of a really important and significant book," he wrote to her from Charleston. Mitchell's answering telegram begged him to send it all back, for she had had second thoughts. "I have felt that there was something lacking in me that other authors … possessed," she later said, which was "that passionate belief in the good quality of their work." But by the time Latham had returned to New York, leaving a trail of encouraging telegrams behind him, Margaret had agreed to look at a contract.
I didn't know being an author was like this, or I don't think I'd have been an author.
Macmillan might have hoped for speedy negotiations with a first-time author, forgetting that Margaret's father was a lawyer. She was particularly worried about the contract's suggestion in nearly inscrutable legalese that she, and not Macmillan, was responsible for protecting the novel against any infringement of its copyright. The tone of the negotiations took a turn for the worse when Mitchell found out that Macmillan, which had agreed to act as her agent in selling film rights to the book, had then struck its own deal with a literary agent Mitchell disliked, splitting the commission. When Macmillan asked for a revision of her royalty schedule after such matters had already been agreed upon, Mitchell and her brother traveled personally to New York, where Macmillan complained that the book's final length of 400,000 words was greater than anticipated and would raise printing costs. Margaret finally agreed to royalties of 10%, rather than the original 15%. After more wrangling and Macmillan's assurances that the contract was "standard and acceptable," Margaret signed in May of 1936 for an advance against royalties of $5,000. "I can't even endure to look at the book because I nearly throw up at the sight of it," Mitchell complained after nine months of legal haggling, during which she had also finally written the book's first chapter, added new material, and revised the entire manuscript following Macmillan's suggestions.
Latham had predicted that Gone With the Wind would be a "very significant publication" and saw to it that galley proofs were circulating six months before the June publication date. His judgment was correct, for the book was already being hailed as "one of the greatest man and woman stories every written" as it was being shipped to stores. Even historian Henry Steele Commager was impressed by Mitchell's work which, he said, somehow managed to make something significant out of the most timeworn elements. "It rises triumphantly over this material," he wrote, "and becomes, if not a work of art, a dramatic recreation of life itself." Latham had done his work so well that bidding for film rights had begun months before the book reached the shelves, even though Mitchell had publicly stated in 1936 that she did not consider the book promising movie material. Warner Bros. thought the book was a perfect vehicle for Bette Davis ; MGM wanted it for Katharine Hepburn ; and every actress from Barbara Stanwyck to Tallulah Bankhead was badgering their studio heads to outbid everyone else. But it was independent producer David O. Selznick who moved the quickest when he received a telegram from Kay Brown at his New York office, urging, "DROP EVERYTHING AND BUY IT!" He paid an unprecedented $500,000 for the rights and launched the famous search for his Scarlett, settling on the English actress Vivien Leigh to play opposite Clark Gable's Rhett Butler in the Academy Award-winning production that would premiere in Atlanta three years later. When the first anniversary of the book's publication arrived, by which time well over one million copies had been sold, a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution presented himself at Mitchell's apartment one evening asking for her reaction to that afternoon's announcement. Seeing her blank expression, the reporter explained that Gone With the Wind had just won the Pulitzer Prize. The next morning, Mitchell said, "reporters were slithering out of cracks in the floor."
Mitchell became just as much of a celebrity as her book, but its success overwhelmed the rest of her life. She never published another novel, caught up in an endless round of public appearances and lectures and preoccupied with costly and frustrating legal battles to protect her copyright, as her contract with Macmillan required her to do. Her guardianship of her rights was so diligent that she soon gained a reputation among publishers as somewhat of a crank, and among writers as a champion of authors' rights. One lawsuit alone, which arose when a Dutch publisher attempted to print an unauthorized edition, dragged on for ten years before Mitchell finally prevailed. "I go to pieces under heavy nervous strain," she had once confided to a friend, and the considerable strains of the decade following Gone With the Wind's appearance took their toll. There was a gradual worsening of the spinal condition that had plagued her since the car accident of 1934, arthritic ailments, and an operation for "intestinal adhesions." By the mid-1940s, she was unable to walk properly without the aid of a back brace.
She and John often found at least a few hours of respite by frequently going to see films, which was their evening's activity on the night of August 11, 1949. After parking the car across from the movie theater they often went to on Peachtree Street, John Marsh had guided his wife halfway across the busy thoroughfare when the couple noticed an approaching car that seemed to be out of control. While John stood his ground to watch the dangerous car swerve off down a side street, he failed to stop Margaret from bolting back toward the sidewalk and into the path of a taxicab. She never regained consciousness and died five days later from brain damage.
But her epic story and its characters live on, more than a half century after her death, as does the history of legal entanglements and melodrama that surrounded their birth and first ten years of life. A planned 1978 sequel to Gone With the Wind and a companion movie were both blocked by a court ruling in favor of the Mitchell estate, which claimed it had never authorized the sequel and had the sole right to do so. The novel the estate subsequently commissioned, Alexandra Ripley 's Scarlett, was published in 1991, followed by a 1994 TV miniseries based on the book. A second authorized sequel, Tara, by English writer Emma Tennant , was ultimately rejected for publication by the estate, while Southern novelist Pat Conroy began work on an authorized account of the events covered in the original story but told from Rhett's point of view. In Atlanta, attempts to preserve the house on Crescent Court from demolition have been stymied twice by arson-related fires, while others point out the drab building's lack of architectural significance and Mitchell's own derogatory description of the place while she lived there.
In accordance with Mitchell's will, John Marsh destroyed most of his wife's personal papers and manuscripts of her early work. Only four of the short stories she wrote as a girl survive, for example. But Mitchell had forgotten about the gift she had given to one of her suitors, Henry Angel, in those long-ago days as an Atlanta debutante. In 1994, Angel's son, then 71 years old, revealed the existence of a packet addressed in Mitchell's hand which had been given
to him by his father in 1952, but which had lain unopened at the bottom of a drawer ever since. Among the letters Margaret had written to Henry Angel and the faded snapshots of 70 years before was something of wider interest—a novella Mitchell must have written sometime during or just after World War I. Lost Laysen, published in 1996, was a South Seas romance notable more for its surprise appearance than for its quality. "I don't know why my father never mentioned her," the younger Henry said of his father's courting. "Heck, if I'd known, don't you think I'd have asked him to get passes for the Gone With the Wind premiere? Everybody in Atlanta wanted to go."
In light of Mitchell's youthful outburst over a black classmate at Smith College, another development is more intriguing still. Dr. Otis Smith, the first African-American pediatrician to be certified by the state of Georgia and a past president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP, revealed in 1996 that a large portion of his college tuition during World War II had been paid for by none other than Margaret Mitchell, who had set up an anonymous scholarship fund for African-American medical students in 1941. Smith, one of 50 beneficiaries of Mitchell's fund, had not been told the name of his benefactor until the late 1970s and remained silent until hearing of Atlanta's effort to establish a Margaret Mitchell Museum. It was also disclosed that Mitchell lent her anonymous financial support to early efforts during the 1940s to desegregate Atlanta's police department.
"Margaret puzzles me," May Belle Mitchell once wrote a friend. "I don't know whether she is headed for success or failure, but in any event, she will be her own honest self." As usual, May Belle was exactly right.
Edwards, Anne. Road to Tara. NY: Ticknor and Fields, 1985.
Hubbard, Kim. "Buried Treasure," in People Weekly. Vol. 45, no. 19. May 13, 1996.
Pyron, Darden. Southern Daughter: The Life of Margaret Mitchell. NY: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Harwell, Richard, ed. Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" Letters, 1936–1949. NY: Macmillan, 1976.
Mitchell, Margaret. Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell. Edited by Jane Eskridge. Hill Street Press, 2000.
——. Margaret Mitchell, Reporter. Hill Street Press, 2000.
Walker, Marianne. Margaret Mitchell & John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind. GA: Peachtree, 1993.
Norman Powers , writer-producer, Chelsea Lane Productions, New York