Desperately Seeking Scarlett


Searching for Tara in the Land of Gone with the Wind

Culture & Identity  •  Fellowships  •  History

Philip Mills Herrington at Birdsville Plantation
Philip Mills Herrington at Birdsville Plantation

Virginia Humanities

145 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville VA 22903

Since the release of Margaret Mitchell’s bestselling novel in 1936 and its blockbuster film adaptation three years later, Gone with the Wind has sparked a desire to find Tara, the fictional home of Scarlett O’Hara.

In this presentation, Virginia Humanities Fellow Philip Mills Herrington, will guide you through the physical and imagined spaces of “finding Tara”: the built environment of the 19th-century southern plantations, the “ugly, sprawling, columnless” house created by Mitchell on paper, the romanticized sets of the Gone with the Wind film, and the “Plantation Revival” buildings designed to evoke Tara since the 1930s.

This talk is free and open to the public. A casual lunch will be provided.

Explore More

On our With Good Reason radio show, Herrington explains why the white-columned plantation house is one of the most enduring and divisive icons of American architecture.