Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

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Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta–above photograph of Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, appeared exclusively in House & Garden Magazine in the early 1940s.

While exploring Atlanta, Georgia, I was eager to visit the place where Margaret Mitchell penned “Gone With the Wind.” I wanted to see where she sat as she churned out the 1000 page classic American novel.

Below: front view of the Mitchell house.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

I have always valued Scarlett’s determination. Oddly, after I spent time in London, England, sleeping on acquaintances floors, eating rice and apples, having spent my last dime backpacking around Europe (as melodramatic as it might sound), the phrase that came to me during those impoverished weeks was a quote from Scarlett O’Hara: As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again. Her strong survivor spirit stayed with me and inspired me to pick myself up at times I felt knocked down. This is why I gave my youngest daughter the second name Scarlett.

Below: rear view of the Mitchell house.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

Margaret Mitchell lived in the first floor (basement) suite of this handsome brick house from 1925 to 1936. It’s a humble home, a small, one bedroom apartment with a closet-sized kitchen, but enough room for her and her second husband, John Marsh.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

Above: the street where Margaret lived has changed a lot in the 80 or so years since she left it. Atlanta is a huge concrete jungle of freeways and she would not recognize it. However, this street appears much the same as when Margaret lived on it. Walking along the sidewalk, towards her home, gave me a sense of what “old” Atlanta must have been like.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

Above: that is me, peeking out of the Mitchell suite window, waiting to give you a tour.

Below: The original desk and style of typewriter Margaret used while she worked as a reporter at The Atlanta Journal. Margaret was a true Flapper and worked as a full time reporter for many years before Gone With the Wind was published.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

I longed to see where she sat, to write her novel–to view her home office. Yet, more than the chair, typewriter or table, I wanted to experience the light form the windows where she sat, and the space where she sat. It was the best experience. I felt as though I’d channelled Margaret’s energy and that she was right there, in the room with me.

Below: me sitting right where Margaret Mitchell sat to write Gone With the Wind.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

I love the tea cup (above) on Margaret’s desk, as I too write with a cup of tea at my side.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

Above: a window seat and large leaded glass window in Margaret’s living room (beautiful light to write by).

I had no idea that I would feel such a connection to her, as a writer. I suppose, I (literally) had to walk in her footsteps to feel such a connection. Although she was from a different time and place, and her views of the world are not my own, I felt a connection to her, as a woman, as a writer, an artist. In a patriarchal, consumer-obsessed world, it is invaluable to me to find a kinship amongst other women artists, regardless of whether or not our life times on Earth coexist.

Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta

Peter, posing on Margaret’s front lawn, appearing as though he has time travelled back to Margaret Mitchell’s Atlanta.

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