Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949) is best known as the author of Gone With The Wind, one of the best known (and best selling) novels in American literature. It was published in over 40 countries, and adapted into the famed movie of the same name. It has been said that she herself was the model for Scarlett O’Hara, one of the most complex and charismatic of heroines.
Even though GWTW was the only novel she published novel during her lifetime, it allowed her to taste fame before her untimely death. It’s interesting to speculate as to whether Mitchell had another book in her after the mega-success of Gone with the Wind. GWTW has often been criticized for romanticizing slavery, as well as the confederacy in general. We’ll never know if that was Mitchell’s intent. But a lesser-known fact is that she funded the educations of dozens of black medical students at the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, with the wealth she earned from this book.
She was only 48 when a motorist struck and killed her (she was on foot) in her native Atlanta, some twelve years after the publication of her blockbuster. Her only other work known is a novella called Lost Laysen, written when she was only fifteen. Knotty and complicated, Mitchell will always be remembered for the sprawling, revisionist Gone with the Wind.
Biographies about Margaret Mitchell
- Southern Daughter: The Life of Margaret Mitchell by Darden Asbury Pyron
- Margaret Mitchell and John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind by Marianne Walker
- Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood by Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley
Visit Margaret Mitchell’s Home
- Margaret Mitchell House - Atlanta, Georgia
Margaret Mitchell Quotes
“In a weak moment, I have written a book.”
“She could not ignore life. She had to live it and it was too brutal, too hostile, for her even to try to gloss over its harshness with a smile.” (Gone With The Wind, 1936)
“Now you are beginning to think for yourself instead of letting others think for you. That’s the beginning of wisdom.” (Gone With The Wind, 1936)
“I had believed that established writers, writers who really knew how to write, had no difficulty at all in writing. I had thought that only luckless beginners like myself had to rewrite endlessly, tear up and throw away whole chapters, start afresh, rewrite and throw away again. I knew nothing about other writers and their working habits, and I thought I was the only writer in the world who went through such goings-on.”
“Never pass up new experiences, They enrich the mind.” (Gone With The Wind, 1936)
“Until you lose your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.” (Gone With The Wind, 1936)
“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.”
“I do not write with ease, nor am I ever pleased with anything I write. And so I rewrite.”
“Hardships make or break people.” (Gone With The Wind, 1936)
“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.” (Gone With The Wind, 1936)
“I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken – and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived.”
“Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.” (Gone With The Wind, 1936)