Literary Criticism  

 
Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell
Edited by Jane Eskridge
Hill Street Press, 2000
ISBN:  1-892514-62-1

 

Jane Eskridge and Wailes Thomas made a literary discovery while going through boxes Thomas inherited from his mother's home in Atlanta.  They found two hundred pages of short stories, fairy tales, journal entries, essays, and a one-act play penned by the young Margaret Mitchell.   

Eskridge edited the collection into Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell.  The collection makes it clear that writing was a lifelong activity of Mitchell, and that she was capable of producing more than the one published book that bore her name.  The writing also give insight into the background that lead to the creation of Gone With the Wind. 

From a literary historical point the book is valuable as a glimpse into who Margaret Mitchell was and the influences that directed her writing.  Also, since Mitchell's will requested that all her unpublished writing to be destroyed, this is a treasure that missed that fate. 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

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