The delightful autobiography of an indefatigable lady
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
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 exposť 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 names--including Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard
Shaw, Theodore Dreiser, H. L. Mencken, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks--whom
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