9TH MARCH, 2011 ♥

Southern Belle.

Yesterday evening, I finally turned to the 1010th (and last) page of Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I will readily deem this great historical romance as one of the most engaging, enlightening and heartfelt stories I've ever read.

It's really one of those "I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT EVEN THOUGH IT'S 4AM" kind of books. Here is a scan of the actual copy I read from, so you can re-live the full experience with me :P (don't worry, no spoilers).

GWTW cover

Whether you've read the book or not, most of us are familiar with Scarlett O'Hara - she's a strong willed, vibrant, hot-headed young woman who fights for survival throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction eras of the South. She defies the constraints of gender at the time, making countless enemies, 'beaux' and the occasional friend along the way.

I set off on this literary adventure not knowing anything at all about the American Civil War - as an Australian girl in the 2000's, I was never taught about it, so I read the historical sections of the book with immense interest. I have often found Gone With The Wind to be portrayed purely as a romance novel, but is actually full of detailed (extremely biased to the South of course) descriptions of the savage path the war took; its various battles, how the lives of families rich and poor were torn apart, and for those who made it through, the horrors of the Reconstruction era. If you haven't done so, READ, READ, please READ!!

Obviously, one thing I very much appreciated were the wonderful descriptions of the clothing worn throughout the book, especially those which sparked the fancy of the eldest Miss O'Hara. Dresses of huge circumferences made from crisp European fabrics, 'stays' laced to sixteen inches (the smallest waistline in the County!), silk pantalets, slippers, velvet riding habits, ruffles, stiff taffeta petticoats, emerald green Parisian bonnets, diamond 'ear-bobs', lace-covered black mourning dresses with long sleeves, buttoned up to the neck.

Vivien Leigh, the classic Southern Belle who was ironically British, played Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 four-hour epic blockbuster Gone With The Wind. I am yet to see this but have a copy in my hands and can't wait to sit down for a viewing!

Here are some beautiful stills of Leigh (one featuring her with Clark Gable as Rhett Butler) from the film. I found these on this website, "Doctor Macro's High Quality Movie Stills", where one can look through galleries of Golden Age Hollywood actors and actresses captured in their prime. The genuis costume designer for Gone With The Wind was Walter Plunkett. IT'S LOVE!


Vivien Leigh - Gone With The Wind - 1939




I am struggling to get over these beautiful costumes, I feel a new obsession coming on! To fuel this, I will hopefully put together a post of Victorian American pre- and post-war fashion sometime in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

- C x


  1. I agree this movie is full of beautiful costume, and the lead actress is simply breathtaking, she embodies pure hollywood beauty

  2. I love the movie so much that my partner and I have decided to name our first son Rhett! I imagine the book would be equally amazing, I must read it some day.

  3. Aw that's so lovely! I love the names Carreen and Scarlett, and have put them on the list for any future babies, haha. You should definitely read the book, it's amazing!
    Thanks so much for reading!
    - C x


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