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Tara is the name of a fictional plantation in the state of Georgia, in the historical novel Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell. In the story, Tara is located 5 miles (8 km) from Jonesboro (originally spelled Jonesborough), in Clayton County, on the east side of the Flint River about 20 miles (32 km) south of Atlanta.
Mitchell modeled Tara after local plantations and antebellum establishments, particularly Rural Home, the Clayton County plantation on which her maternal grandmother, Annie Fitzgerald Stephens (1844–1934), the daughter of Irish immigrant Philip Fitzgerald (1798–1880) and his American wife, Eleanor Avaline "Ellen" McGhan (1818–1893), was born and raised. However, the original Rural Home, a two-story wooden structure, was not as palatial and glamorous as the one described in the novel and/or depicted in the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind .
Twelve Oaks, a neighboring plantation in the novel, is now the name of many businesses and a high school stadium in nearby Lovejoy, Georgia.
In Gone with the Wind, Tara was founded by Irish immigrant Gerald O'Hara after he won 640 acres (2.6 km2) or one square mile of land from its absentee owner during an all-night poker game. An Irish peasant farmer rather than the merchant his elder brothers (whose emigrations to Savannah had brought him to Georgia) wanted him to be, Gerald relished the thought of becoming a planter and gave his mostly wilderness and uncultivated new lands the grandiose name of Tara after the Hill of Tara, once the capital of the High King of ancient Ireland. He borrowed money from his brothers and bankers to buy slaves and turned the farm into a very successful cotton plantation. Gerald realized that the manor house needed a feminine touch and domestic servants. Consulting with his valet, Pork, whom he had won in a card game, he was told, "whut you needs is a wife, and a wife whut has got plen'y of house niggers."  So Gerald set off to Savannah to look for a wife meeting this qualification.
At 43, Gerald married the 15-year-old Ellen Robillard, a wealthy Savannah-born girl of French descent, receiving as dowry twenty slaves (including Mammy, Ellen's nurse, who became nurse to Ellen's daughters and grandchildren as well). His young bride took a very real interest in the management of the plantation, being in some ways a more hands-on manager than her husband. With the injection of her dowry money and the rise of cotton prices, Tara grew to a plantation of more than 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) and more than 100 slaves by the dawn of the Civil War.
In the first quarter of the novel, the O'Haras are enthusiastically partisan in support of the Confederacy. Nevertheless, even before the tide has turned irreversibly against the Confederacy following Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the plantation (along with the other great land-holdings in the county) has already suffered major deprivation because of the war and has descended into disrepair. Shortages caused by the Union blockade and the Confederate requisitioning of supplies and slaves have turned the home from a house of plenty to one of mere subsistence, while the inability to sell their cotton to England has also greatly diminished the family's once-lavish income and lifestyle. The arrival of Sherman's troops in Clayton County terrifies those slaves who have not already departed or been conscripted into the labor force by the Confederacy. By the time Union troops arrive at Tara, only the house slaves remain.
Unlike the homes of most of the O'Haras' neighbors, Tara is spared the torch during the Union's Scorched Earth Policy. The life-threatening illness, from typhoid, of Ellen O'Hara and her younger daughters, Suellen and Carreen, causes Gerald to stand firm in the doorway of his house, "as if he had an army behind him rather than before him", and earns the sympathy of a Union officer who orders his surgeon to treat the O'Hara women with laudanum and quinine. The officer commandeers the house for use as a Union field headquarters, but as a courtesy, it is spared. However, movable items of value (including Ellen's rosary, pictures, and china) are confiscated (or stolen), and larger items are vandalized by the withdrawing Union troops. Mammy hides the family silver in the well.
The army also chops down the trees surrounding the home, destroys the outbuildings, uses much of the fencing for firewood, slaughters the livestock, and pillages the vegetable gardens and fruit orchards for its own use. Soldiers even destroy what is not yet ripe and unearth graves in the family and slave cemeteries to search for valuables buried under false headstones. The most expensive blow comes when the troops torch more than $158,331 worth of baled cotton (in 2014 currency  ). (The O'Haras had been unable to sell the cotton to English merchants, owing to the blockade, and thus it was still awaiting transport.) Upon the army's withdrawal, the family and their loyal remaining slaves are left with a looted and dilapidated house, a ruined farm with no stock, work animals, or farm equipment, no food and no means to produce food. They are indigent and soon starving.
Ellen O'Hara dies soon after the Union evacuation, and her widowed oldest daughter Scarlett returns a day later, initial delight at finding the house still standing soon turning to despair at its ruination. The loss of his wife, combined with hopelessness, poverty, age, and an increasing reliance on whiskey (when it is available) is destroying Gerald O'Hara's sanity, leaving him a demented echo of his former self. The plantation and house continue to be visited by both rebel and Union troops throughout the war, both sides taking any remnants of food and items of value left to the family.
Scarlett, however, leads her complaining sister Suellen, and semi-stunned and emotionally numb sister Carreen, and the house slaves (all unaccustomed to hard manual labor), in harvesting the remaining cotton plants. She manages to salvage a few hundred pounds of the crop (enough to trade for food, perhaps) but sees her labor rendered useless when a small detachment of Union troops finds the cotton in a slave cabin and sets it ablaze. When one of the soldiers is prevented, by his commanding officer, from taking a gilded sword that once belonged to Scarlett's long-dead father-in-law and intended for her little boy Wade Hamilton (the officer is himself a veteran of the same campaigns as the sword's former owner), the thwarted Yankee soldier expresses his indignation by secretly setting a wing of the house on fire as the Yankees are leaving. The family (which at this point, includes the convalescent Melanie Wilkes, Scarlett's sister-in-law by her marriage to her first husband--Melanie's dead brother Charles Hamilton) extinguishes the flames before they can spread, but the mansion is further damaged.
When a Union deserter attempts to rob and rape Scarlett, she kills him in self-defense and vengeance. With the tiny windfall of money he was carrying, and with his horse and the aid of Will Benteen, a Confederate private and amputee nursed through a near-fatal fever by the O'Haras, the land is planted once again, on a subsistence scale. The family is able to eke out a very meager living, leaving them constantly hungry but at least not homeless or starving.
Peace returns after the war, but not prosperity. Scarlett manages to save Tara from being seized and the family from dispossession only by deceitfully marrying her sister Suellen's fiancé, Frank Kennedy, and using his savings to pay the $300 in taxes levied on the place. Though Scarlett returns to Atlanta where her fortunes rise as she takes over and expands her second husband Frank's business interests, she shares her new wealth with Tara. Tara never achieves anything like its antebellum grandeur, but it does become self-supporting as a "two horse" farm. While far from rich, the O'Haras are at least in better condition than most of their neighbors. While Scarlett is in Atlanta, Suellen, the sister whom Scarlett's husband truly loved, conspires with the hated carpetbaggers and scalawags to defraud the victorious United States government of $150,000 by having her senile father swear an oath that his family was pro-Union during the war; therefore, the cotton burned and the damages done to the place were not justified. The plan backfires and leads to the accidental death of Gerald. It also leads to the social ostracism of Suellen by her neighbors and even some of her relatives, though ironically it increases her worth (slightly) in the eyes of her pragmatic sister Scarlett, who privately believes the plan was brilliant.
In 1868, Scarlett marries Rhett Butler, a wealthy playboy. Rhett has Tara restored the way it was before the war, but the couple also have a house built in Atlanta. Though Scarlett resides in Atlanta, she considers Tara her true home. The house is restored and refurnished, the outbuildings are rebuilt, the fields are again stocked with cattle, turkeys, and horses, and the land is again planted with cotton (raised now by poor white and free black sharecroppers). By the end of the novel, Tara has come to resemble, as closely as it can, the beautiful red-earthed plantation it was before the war. Scarlett, however, is unable to find peace or happiness. Though she has come back from defeat and starvation to become one of the wealthiest women in the South and is even far richer and more spoiled than she ever expected to be, she feels miserable and empty. Most of this is due to, first, her hopeless love for Ashley Wilkes, and later her loss of Rhett's love (unfortunately, after realizing Rhett is the one she loves), and the death of their daughter Bonnie (and perhaps her loss of Melanie's friendship through her death, as well). After Rhett leaves Scarlett, she returns to Tara, declaring that she will win back his love one day.
Many critics[ who? ] state that Tara ultimately symbolizes Scarlett's spirit or character. Initially, it is a thing of pompous but shallow beauty, then a place of desolation but nevertheless still standing when the neighboring homes are not, and finally as beautiful as ever but bereft of life and happiness.
In the 2007 novel by Donald McCaig, Rhett Butler's People , Tara stays virtually the same as in Gone With the Wind. However, at the end of this novel, which was the authorized Margaret Mitchell estate sequel to Gone With the Wind, the crazed Isaiah Watling sets fire to the main staircase of the mansion, which burns to the ground.
When Gerald first takes possession of the property, he and his slave valet Pork (also acquired by Gerald in a poker game) inhabit the small, four-room overseer's house that remained standing after the former mansion burned down. The enslaved population builds Tara on the site of the old house and add to it as is necessary. It is a large, rambling affair of whitewashed brick and timber "built according to no architectural plan whatever, with extra rooms added where and when it seemed convenient". Its charm comes from Ellen's grace and sophistication. According to the description in the novel, the house has at least two hallways, a full basement, front and back stairs, and an attic.
For the 1939 motion picture, the home was constructed by art director Lyle Wheeler. After filming concluded, the façade of Tara sat on the Forty Acres backlot owned by RKO Pictures and then Desilu Productions. The Tara house façade looks very similar to the home of Barbara Stanwyck's character Victoria Barkley in the ABC series The Big Valley . That set was built in 1947 on the Republic Studios lot in Encino for the John Wayne movie The Fighting Kentuckian . In 1959, Southern Attractions, Inc. purchased the Tara façade, which was dismantled and shipped to Georgia with plans to relocate it to the Atlanta area as a tourist attraction.   Producer David O. Selznick commented at the time,
Nothing in Hollywood is permanent. Once photographed, life here is ended. It is almost symbolic of Hollywood. Tara had no rooms inside. It was just a façade. So much of Hollywood is a façade. 
However, the Margaret Mitchell estate refused to license anything that sought to capitalize on the novel's fame and popularity, including the movie set, citing Mitchell's dismay at how little it resembled her description in her novel.
In 1979, what remained of the set—doorway, windows, shutters, cornice, steps and breezeway to the kitchen, and elements of the kitchen itself—was purchased for $5,000 by Betty Talmadge, the former wife of former governor and U.S. Senator Herman Talmadge.  She had the front door of the Tara set restored. After a 1989 exhibit at the Atlanta History Center, she lent it for permanent display at the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. 
A short time later, K. C. Bassham, an inn owner in Concord, Georgia, agreed to purchase the set from Mrs. Talmadge and actually took possession of a window and shutter from the set. Bassham set up her inn as a period piece and decorated it with reproduction mementos from the film. In spite of the restored front door and fanlight, she believed that the movie set, which she characterized as "plywood and papier-mâché," was so deteriorated that it could never be resurrected again. Her vision was to cut up the set and sell 1-by-3-inch (25 mm × 76 mm) rectangular sections along with a picture of Tara and a certificate of authenticity.  Talmadge eventually decided to keep the Tara set, and it remained in storage at the time of her death in 2005.
For years the set was also thought to have existed on Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's backlot #2 in Culver City, CA.   This urban myth was the result of former MGM tour guides who had been instructed to mislead tourists into thinking that a southern mansion set on backlot #2 was the famed Gone with the Wind set. In fact, years later an article in the Los Angeles Times chronicled the demolition of the mansion and relied on the false information given by the tour guides. This news report only furthered the confusion over the true whereabouts of the actual Tara set. Now the Tara facade is still located at Talmadge Farms in Lovejoy, Georgia and is being resurrected.
Gone with the Wind is a novel by American writer Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County and Atlanta, both in Georgia, during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era. It depicts the struggles of young Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty following Sherman's destructive "March to the Sea". This historical novel features a coming-of-age story, with the title taken from the poem "Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae", written by Ernest Dowson.
Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was an American novelist and journalist. Mitchell wrote only one novel, published during her lifetime, the American Civil War-era novel Gone with the Wind, for which she won the National Book Award for Fiction for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937. Long after her death, a collection of Mitchell's girlhood writings and a novella she wrote as a teenager, titled Lost Laysen, were published. A collection of newspaper articles written by Mitchell for The Atlanta Journal was republished in book form.
Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler is a fictional character and the protagonist in Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and in the 1939 film of the same name, where she is portrayed by Vivien Leigh. She also is the main character in the 1970 musical Scarlett and the 1991 book Scarlett, a sequel to Gone with the Wind that was written by Alexandra Ripley and adapted for a television mini-series in 1994. During early drafts of the original novel, Mitchell referred to her heroine as "Pansy", and did not decide on the name "Scarlett" until just before the novel went to print.
George Ashley Wilkes is a fictional character in Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the 1939 film of the same name. The character also appears in the 1991 book Scarlett, a sequel to Gone with the Wind written by Alexandra Ripley, and in Rhett Butler's People (2007) by Donald McCaig.
Rhett Butler is a fictional character in the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and in the 1939 film adaptation of the same name. It is one of Clark Gable's most recognizable and significant roles.
Melanie Hamilton Wilkes is a fictional character first appearing in the 1936 novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. In the 1939 film she was portrayed by Olivia de Havilland. Melanie is Scarlett O'Hara's sister-in-law and eventually her best friend. Mitchell likely based the character on her cousin Sister Mary Melanie Holliday.
Evelyn Louise Keyes was an American film actress. She is best known for her role as Suellen O'Hara in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind.
The Wind Done Gone (2001) is the first novel written by Alice Randall. It is a bestselling historical novel that tells an alternative account of the story in the American novel Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell. While the story of Gone with the Wind focuses on the life of the daughter of a wealthy slave owner, Scarlett O'Hara, The Wind Done Gone tells the story of the life of one of her slaves, Cynara, during the same time period and events.
Scarlett is a 1991 novel by Alexandra Ripley, written as a sequel to Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel, Gone with the Wind. The book debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list.
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell. The film was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International Pictures and directed by Victor Fleming. Set in the American South against the backdrop of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction era, the film tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara, the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, following her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes, who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton, and her subsequent marriage to Rhett Butler.
In Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind, Twelve Oaks is the plantation home of the Wilkes family in Clayton County, Georgia named for the twelve great oak trees that surround the family mansion in an almost perfect circle. Twelve Oaks was described as a "beautiful white-columned house that crowned the hill like a Greek Temple," having true southern charm and whimsy. Margaret Mitchell came up with the idea for The Twelve Oaks, and modeled the home after an actual antebellum mansion located in the historic area of Covington, Georgia. The home that was portrayed as Margaret Mitchell's Twelve Oaks in the 1939 film has been renovated and is now open as a bed and breakfast and event facility in Covington, thirty minutes east of Atlanta.
Scarlett is a 1994 American six-hour television miniseries loosely based on the 1991 book of the same name written by Alexandra Ripley as a sequel to Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone with the Wind. The series was filmed at 53 locations in the United States and abroad, and stars Joanne Whalley-Kilmer as Scarlett O'Hara, Timothy Dalton as Rhett Butler, and Sean Bean as Lord Richard Fenton. The miniseries was broadcast in four parts on CBS on November 13, 15, 16, and 17, 1994.
Gone with the Wind is a musical written by Margaret Martin. It is adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel of the same name and its 1939 film adaptation by Trevor Nunn.
Stately Oaks Plantation is a Greek Revival antebellum mansion located in Margaret Mitchell Memorial Park in Jonesboro, Georgia. Built in 1839, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It is also known as Orr House, The Oaks, and Robert McCord House and it is included in the Jonesboro Historic District.
The Scarlett O'Hara War is a 1980 American made-for-television drama film directed by John Erman. It is based on the 1979 novel Moviola by Garson Kanin. Set in late 1930s Hollywood, it is about the search for the actress to play Scarlett O'Hara in the much anticipated film adaptation of Gone with the Wind (1939). This film premiered as the finale of a three-night TV miniseries on NBC called Moviola: A Hollywood Saga.
Autant en emporte le vent is a French musical adaptation of the 1936 Margaret Mitchell novel Gone with the Wind produced by Dove Attia and Albert Cohen in 2003, with music and lyrics by Gérard Presgurvic and staging and choreography by Kamel Ouali.
"Went with the Wind!" is a comedy sketch featured on the eighth episode of the tenth season of The Carol Burnett Show. It originally aired in the United States on CBS on November 13, 1976, and is a parody of the 1939 American historical drama film Gone with the Wind. The sketch was written by two young writers, Rick Hawkins and Liz Sage. In 2009, TV Guide ranked the sketch #53 on its list of "Top 100 Episodes of All Time".
Peter L. Bonner is an American storyteller, actor, writer and historian best known for his creation of the Gone With the Wind Tour in Jonesboro, Georgia.
Annie Elizabeth Fitzgerald Stephens was an American landowner, businesswoman, and political activist. She was born to a prominent planting family in Clayton County, Georgia, and grew up on the family plantation, Rural Home. The daughter of an Irish immigrant, she was a devout Catholic. Stephens was involved in real estate endeavors in Atlanta and sued the federal government after General William Tecumseh Sherman's Siege of Atlanta, during the American Civil War, damaged some of her properties. Some historians, literary critics, and film critics, including Molly Haskell, consider her to be the inspiration behind the fictional character Scarlett O'Hara, from Stephen's granddaughter, Margaret Mitchell,'s novel Gone with the Wind.
Rural Home, also known as the Fitzgerald House, was a plantation house in Clayton County, Georgia. Built in the 1830s, the house was acquired by Philip Fitzgerald, a planter and Irish immigrant, in 1836. Rural Home was the childhood home of Annie Fitzgerald Stephens, the grandmother of author Margaret Mitchell, and was the center of a large cotton plantation. The plantation served as inspiration for Mitchell's fictional Tara Plantation in her novel Gone With the Wind. It was looted but ultimately withstood Sherman's March to the Sea during the American Civil War and functioned as a family home until the 1970s. In 1982 it was moved to a temporary site near Lovejoy. After being badly damaged in a storm, the house was demolished in 2005.