Southern Belleby Mary Craig Sinclair
This is a new edition of the autobiography of Mary Craig Kimbrough Sinclair (1883-1961). She started life innocently and happily on her father's Mississippi Delta plantation but went on to know deprivation and danger when she married Upton Sinclair, the crusading social activist. As she joined him in his struggles to rescue "the disinherited of the earth,"… See more details below
This is a new edition of the autobiography of Mary Craig Kimbrough Sinclair (1883-1961). She started life innocently and happily on her father's Mississippi Delta plantation but went on to know deprivation and danger when she married Upton Sinclair, the crusading social activist. As she joined him in his struggles to rescue "the disinherited of the earth," collaborating with him in writing a shelf of books, she gave up the moonlight and magnolias but not her grace. After her death, Sinclair recalled her as "the loveliest woman I have ever known."
She moved North with him and began an exhilarating new life. He was a Socialist and the celebrated muckraker whose novel The Jungle (1906) was an exposé of the meatpacking industry. Later, in 1943, he would win the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Dragon's Teeth. Through him she became involved in social causes and came to know many of America's intellectuals including such eminent figures in the literary and political worlds as Walter Lippman, Sinclair Lewis, Max Eastman, Floyd Dell, and Art Young. With her husband she traveled throughout the United States and Europe. Her story is filled with many great namesincluding Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, Theodore Dreiser, H. L. Mencken, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbankswhom she and Sinclair counted among their friends.
As a child she once sat on Jefferson Davis's knee. In her girlhood she was instructed in the southern graces. Later she would be immersed in the world of demonstrations, distress, and political pamphleteering for the liberal causes she and her husband espoused.
Their marriage of forty-eight years was extraordinary and happy. Sinclair recalled her as "the helpmeet of a man who set out to help in the ending of poverty and war in the world. . . . It required many crusades in which he bankrupted himself and her as well. It required a year-long entanglement in a bitter political campaign [for the California governorship]. She helped him to write and publish three million books and pamphlets."
Of her book he said, "This is the story of a Southern belle, told by a real one."
Mary Craig Sinclair was born near Greenwood, Mississippi, a member of a prominent, old-line Mississippi family from the Delta and the Gulf Coast.
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