Margaret Mitchell's Husband: Maysville Native
Margaret Mitchell is the famous author of Gone With the Wind, the phenomenal bestselling novel of life in the South during the Civil War. Who doesn't know of Scarlett O'Hara? In any case, within the first six months of the book's publication in 1936, it sold more than a million copies. This was during the depression era as well. Since then, it has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide with an additional 250,000 copies sold each year. It's one of the most popular books of all time.
Although Margaret Mitchell was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and had been briefly married before, she married John Robert Marsh, a Maysville Kentucky native, on July 4, 1925. Marsh worked in public relations for the Georgia Power and Light Company.
Historians have speculated whether characters in the novel Gone With the Wind were based on real people. Mitchell has denied this, saying that they were simply imaginative creations. However, if she did base her characters in part on real people, one must wonder if she based any of them on her newly-wed husband John Marsh. After all, it was less than a year after they were married that Mitchell began writing the book (she started it in 1926 while cooped up with a broken ankle).
Was a Maysville Kentucky native the muse for Gone With the Wind? Only Mitchell would know. Still, she was obviously enamored with Marsh. After becoming a celebrity overnight, and after being much sought after for speaking engagements and interviews, Mitchell withdrew somewhat from the public eye saying that she "wanted to remain simply Mrs. John Marsh."
(Special thanks to Ken Downing for the lead on this story)