Monday, November 7, 2011

This Day in History November 8, 1900

Anyone know this woman? I have to admit I wouldn't have recognized her.  But I sure know the name.  Does the name Margaret Mitchell mean anything to you?  Well, read on--it just might.

On this day in 1900, Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  I could spend a long time talking about her family history--it is quite impressive--but if you are interested, you can check out the links below.  She was a fourth generation "Atlantan."  Before she could write, she was making up stories and dictating them to her mother.  As she grew older, she continued to write her own stories, and she discovered her flair for dramatics.  She often encouraged her friends to do the same.

For six years, Mitchell worked for the Atlanta Journal.  After an ankle injury limited her ability, she quit.  It was also around this time--WWI--that she met, fell in love, became engaged, and then lost her fiance in the war.  She also married an abusive man who left her after but a few months.

On July 4, 1925, she married again, and they settled in Kentucky.  It was the following year that she began writing Gone With the Wind as a way to cope with the boredom of being cooped up with a broken ankle. She completed the majority of the book in three years, and she also kept the novel a secret.  In 1935, Macmillan offered her a contract, and she spent time revising it.  In 1936, Gone with the Wind was published--1037 pages and $3 in price.  This book became an overnight success and eventually was made into a film in 1939.  In spite of the Great Depression, the book sold one million copies in its first six months, and it has sold at least 25 million copies to date.  It has also been translated into 40 languages.

Margaret Mitchell met an untimely death August 11, 1949.  She was in the process of crossing the street with her husband to see A Canterbury Tale.  She was hit by a speeding taxi cab and was rushed to the hospital.  She died five days later.

If you would like more information, please check out these links:


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