Monday, November 8, 2010

Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind


In a week moment, I have written a book. . .

 - Margaret Mitchell, in a 1935 letter, a year before the 1936 publication of Gone With the Wind.
Well fiddle-dee-dee, Scarlett O’Hara.  Today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind.  Margaret Mitchell was born on November 8, 1900 in Atlanta, Georgia.   As a child, she was enthralled by the harrowing tales told to her by elderly survivors of the American Civil War.  Known as Peggy Mitchell, she grew up to become a features writer for the Atlanta Journal.

In 1926, Mitchell left the Atlanta Journal to tend to an injured ankle.  She wound up writing an epic novel of the Civil War.  The book that Margaret Mitchell wrote "in a week moment" became an instant success and earned a Pulitizer Prize for its relucant scribe.  Gone With the Wind was initially titled Another Day and then Tomorrow is Another Day.  Its feisty heroine was originally called Pansy O'Hara.  Thank goodness, that name was changed to Scarlett.  Imagine Rhett and Pansy.  Ugh!

In August of 1949, Margaret Mitchell was struck by a car while crossing Peachtree Street in Atlanta with her husband, John Marsh. The couple were on their way to see the British film A Canterbury Tale at The Peachtree Art Theatre. Mitchell never regained consciousness and died five days later on August 16, 1949. She was 48 years old.

I first read Gone With the Wind as a teenager and I was captivated by the sweeping saga of the Old South and the adventures of the headstrong Scarlett O'Hara and that dashing rogue, Rhett Butler.  As the years passed, I developed some serious qualms abut the novel.  It seems to sympathize with the system of slavery in the South and portrays it in a positive light.  I find this very disturbing.  I know Gone With the Wind isn't Uncle Tom's Cabin but . . .

To watch a video of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the acclaimed 1939 movie version of Gone With the Wind (it won 10 Academy Awards), click on the link below.

Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born on this day in 1847.  He was born Abraham Stoker in Clontarf, Dublin, a coastal suburb just north east of Dublin city in Ireland.  Stoker had a keen interest in the theatre and worked as a journalist an drama critic for the Dublin Evening News.  In 1878, he married Florence Balcombe, the former girlfriend of fellow Irishman Oscar Wilde.  The couple moved to London where Stoker became manager of actor Henry Irving's Lyceum Theatre.

Although Bram Stoker wrote several works of fiction and non-fiction, he is renowned as the author of the classic 1897 Gothic horror novel, Dracula, and will be forever remembered as the father of vampire fiction.  He died in London on April 20, 1912 at the age of 64.  Were he alive today, I can't help wondering what he would think of the vampire books and movies that are so popular with contemporary youth, especially the Twilight series.

To watch a video of the trailer for the 1931 film Dracula, click on the link below.


Here is a sentence that uses all 26 letters of the alphabet.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.


Football (CFL)

The Toroto Argonauts gained playoff momentum by winning a "nothing game" in Montreal yesterday. They rolled passed the Alouettes at Molson Stadium by a score of 30-4 to finish the 2010 season with a 9-9 record.  Now they have a playoff date with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Sunday

One thing is certain.  The Argos will need solid, dependable quatterbacking if thy want to get past the Tabbies, the kind not provided by their regular quarterback. Cleo Lemon has not played well this season, to say the least.  After starting the game in Montreal yesterday, he was replaced by Dalton Bell.   Bell completed 16-of- 27 passes for 229 yards.  With the Argos leading 27-4, Burlington native Danny Branagan came into the game and became the first Canadian quarterback to play for the Argos in years.


The Toronto Blue Jays parted ways with closer Kevin Gregg on Thursday. The 32-year-old right-handed pitcher was given a $750,000 (U.S.) buyout.  Gregg had a record of 37 saves in 43 chances this season.  His ERA was 3.51.  That's not a bad record and Gregg's performance during the latter part of the season improved.  However, I do not think he will ever be the closer the Blue Jays need to compete in the playoffs and the World Series.  The Jays have not ruled out his return in 2011.

- Joanne

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