Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is one of the most popular North Florida. She led an exciting writer’s life. Mrs. Rawlings started out working at a newspaper and then migrated to Florida to a small town in Alachua County. She fell in love with the people and the area. Marjorie immersed herself in the culture and began to write stories about them right on her front porch. We visited her homestead in Cross Creek as it was on our lists of Florida State Parks to visit during our Southern Ladies Adventure. While camping in Paynes Prairie State Park just outside of Gainesville we saw that her home was just down the road. You know they even have a workamping position there if you would like to know more contact the park personnel. The last time I checked it involves the volunteers dressing up in period costume and doing guided tours around the farm. For those who enjoy that sort of thing, it would make a sweet assignment.
Marjorie was born in 1896 in Washington, D.C., graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1918 and married her first husband in 1919. They worked together in Rochester, New York for 10 years before moving down to Alachua County Florida in 1928. They purchased a 72-acre orange grove in the little community of Cross Creek. There she conceived and wrote some of her most famous stories right on her front porch. Her first husband didn’t take to the Florida country life and they were divorced in 1933. She continued to enjoy learning about the people in the area as well as writing about them. Some of her neighbors were not happy about that but she did it anyway. With the money she got from The Yearling she purchased a beach home in Crescent Beach, Florida and met and married her second husband. During the late 1940s and early 50s, Mrs. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlins Baskin passed away in 1953 in St. Augustine, Florida.
(1933) South Moon Under
(1935) Golden Apples
(1938) The Yearling
(1940) When The Whippoorwill
(1942) Cross Creek
(1942) Cross Creek Cookery
(1953) The Sojourner
(1955) The Secret River
She also wrote and published 33 short stories from 1912 to 1949.
Even though Majorie passed away long before the internet and YouTube she is remembered. Not only for her Pulitizer Prize-Winning book, The Yearling, that was made into a movie, but for all of her stories, her letter-writing, sense of humor and her constant striving to improve her craft. She was a woman of the times and most of her letters are self-deprecating, which I don’t agree with, but she had strong opinions and stuck by her beliefs. You can find quite a number of biographies written about her as well as books compiled of her short stories and collection of letters written over the years. I spent a little time reading through one book of her letters,
Selected Letters Of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
edited by Gordon E Bigelow and Laura V. Monti
1983 From the University of Florida Special Collections Library
It is available in eBook format on OpenLibrary.org if you would like to give it try and read through some of the letters. More than likely you will find eBook copies of all of her published works on that website as well. You can also find information about her and her life on WIKI and reading one of the articles I found interest:
Videos About the Writer
Orange County Florida Library System
The Life and Times of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Actress and re-enactor Karen De Vos takes on the role of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, delving into the life and times of the famed Florida writer, author of “Cross Creek,” “The Yearling,” and other novels featuring residents of the rural mid-century Sunshine State.
Note From the Editor
Wednesdays are going to be designated as “Remembrance Wednesdays” so we may not post a promo ad prior to posting and we might not even create our own video about the writer. In the case of Mrs. Rawlings-Baskin, she has a wealth of promotional materials available all over the web. She donated her property and writings to the University of Florida. She deserves to be recognized just as she continues to inspire us North Florida Writers today. If you would like to feature a published North Florida writer that has already passed away you are more than welcome to create a post and upload some pictures. Check out our Posting page for more information.