Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is one of Floridas favourite adopted daughters and you can visit her restored cracker style home in Ocala.
Marjorie moved with her husband to Cross Creek, a tiny community in Ocala in the 1920s and lived the life of a country woman. She was completely entranced by her life lived simply among orange groves and cooking on a wood burning stove.
Here it was that she tapped out her novels that have made her one of Americas foremost novelists. She won the Pulitzes Prize for " The Yearling" This followed the growing up of a young boy in the back woods. This was later made into a popular film of the same name.
Another favourite among her readers is " The Yearling" which takes you through the seasons of her life and draws in the friends and neighbours who were so precious to her.
She wrote most of her books on the veranda of the farm house and you can see this just as it would have been almost a century ago. This a great example of a " cracker house" which were built solely to make the most of the elements; ie to keep cool in the summer and warm in the cool winter nights.
Marjorie lived in Cross Creek exclusively until one of her friends sued her for what she saw as a bad representation of her family in one of Marjories books. The friend was represented by one of Floridas first female lawyers and she won $100000 in damages. The case was overturned, but the experience so upset Marjorie that she bought a beach house 10 miles south of St Augustine and never lived in Cross Creek again.
Afer she divorced her first husband, she married Charles Rawlings. Charles was a hotelier whose chief caim to fame is that one of his old hotels is now Ripleys Believe it Or Not museum in St Augustine. They seemed to lead somewhat separate lives with Marjorie spending half the year at Washingtom DC. Charles once said that she did not interfere in his hotels and he did not appear in her novels. Given her prediliction for using her nearest and dearest for material, that was probably prudent
In february 2008 a commemorative postage stamp was made in her honour; fittingly the launch ceremony was held at her home.
Marjorie died in 1953 at the rather early age of 57 but has left behind a rich legacy of work that honours Florida life of her times.
If you are interested in Marjorie or like to visit an authentic cracker home then do please visit her farmhouse. Please see the separate article under Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park.
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