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Did you know that an Alabama woman once sued author Margaret Mitchell who wrote the classic novel, Gone with the Wind, for plagiarism?

Here is a newspaper account from The Tuscaloosa News, August 2, 1937 about the suit of  an Alabama woman

A Suit Comes To An End

The friends and admirers of Margaret Mitchell will be pleased that the plagiarism suit against her publishing company has ended as they suspected it would endin a fiasco.

Margaret MItchell 1941 (Library of Congress)Margaret Mitchell 1941 (by Al Aumuller Library of Congress)

Alabama woman sued

Some months ago, an Alabama woman, Susan Lawrence Davis, sued Miss Mitchell’s company for plagiarism on the ground that the celebrated Atlanta author had appropriated, without authority, a part of the former’s work, “The Authentic History of the Ku Klux Klan, 1865-1877

Some of you will remember that, in a letter to the editor of this paper, Miss Mitchell described her surprise over the suit and declared that she not only had never read the book by Miss Davis before writing “Gone with the Wind” but had actually had great difficulty in getting a copy even after the suit had been filed.!

A New York judge now comes forward with this sane observation:

“Miss Davis’ work contains no plot or story. Gone With the Wind is a partly historical and partly fictional story laid in and about Atlanta, Ga.

“Both writers’ are Southern women steeped in Southern tradition, writing about the South, and it is natural that there should be some resemblance in their language. But I think that the style of Miss Mitchell is not that of Miss Davis.”

It would have been a difficult job to convict Margaret Mitchell of plagiarism in the eyes of her millions of readers, but they will be especially glad to see her vindicated in court so triumphantly.


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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. I once had a copy- I think there is a copy in the archives in Athens. It is an interesting view of local history with lots of names and places.

  2. Kerri LaDawn Starnes

  3. Love Margaret Mitchell. Grew up in Atlanta. My mother and grandmother were big fans.

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