[mahr-guh-rit, -grit]
Bourke-White, Margaret, 1904-71, American photo-journalist, b. New York City. One of the original staff photographers at Fortune, Life, and Time magazines, Bourke-White was noted for her coverage of World War II, particularly of the invasion of Russia and the liberation of Italy and of German concentration camps. Her series on the rural South during the depression, mining in South Africa, Korean guerrilla warfare, and American industry, and her portraits of world leaders are especially celebrated. Bourke-White's books include Purple Heart Valley (1944), You Have Seen Their Faces (1937; with her husband, Erskine Caldwell), and Portrait of Myself (1963). She died after a 14-year battle with Parkinson's disease.
Laurence, Margaret (Jean Margaret Laurence), 1926-87, Canadian novelist, b. Manitoba. She lived in Somaliland, Ghana, and England and many of her early works had an African setting. Laurence was particularly concerned with character, and her writings usually focused on women struggling to overcome the limitations of small town life. Among her novels are This Side Jordan (1960), The Stone Angel (1964), A Jest of God (1966), upon which the film Rachel, Rachel (1968) was based, The Fire-Dwellers (1969), and The Diviners (1974). In addition, Laurence published works on African literature, notably A Tree for Poverty (1954), a collection of Somali folktales and poetry, and Long Drums and Cannons: Nigerian Dramatists and Novelists (1968), a critical evaluation.

See her Dance on the Earth: A Memoir (1989).

Fuller, Margaret, 1810-50, American writer and lecturer, b. Cambridgeport (now part of Cambridge), Mass. She was one of the most influential personalities of her day in American literary circles. A precocious child, she was forced by her father through an education that impaired her health but nonetheless gave her a broad knowledge of literature and languages. A stimulating talker, she conducted in Boston conversation classes for society women on social and literary topics. She was an ardent feminist, and her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845) treated feminism in its economic, intellectual, political, and sexual aspects. A leader of transcendentalism, she edited its premier journal, the Dial, for its first two years (1840-42). Although she has been identified as Zenobia in Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance, she was never in sympathy with the Brook Farm experiment upon which the book is based. More recognizable is James Russell Lowell's caricature of her as Miranda in the Fable for Critics. Horace Greeley, attracted by her writings, including Summer on the Lakes in 1843 (1844), called her to New York City as the first literary critic of the New York Tribune, from which her Papers on Literature and Art (1846) were republished. In 1847, Fuller went to Rome, where she married the Marchese Ossoli, a follower of Mazzini, and with him took part in the Revolution of 1848-49 and wrote letters home describing the situation for Tribune readers. In 1850, while sailing to the United States, she was drowned with her husband and infant son when the ship was wrecked off Fire Island, N.Y. Her works were republished incompletely by her brother, Arthur Fuller, and her love letters were edited by Julia Ward Howe.

See her selected writings, Woman and the Myth, ed. by B. G. Chevigny (1977); her autobiography, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller, ed. by R. W. Emerson et al. (1852, repr. 1972); her letters (ed. by R. N. Hudspeth, 4 vol., 1983-87); J. Myerson, ed., Fuller in Her Own Time (2008); biographies by J. W. Howe (1883, repr. 1969), M. Wade (1940, repr. 1973), P. Blanchard (1987), C. Capper (2 vol., 1992 and 2007), and M. M. Murray (2008); studies by P. Miller, ed. (1963), J. Myerson, ed. (1980), D. Watson (1989), F. Fleischmann, ed. (2000), and J. Steele (2001).

Fox, Margaret: see Fox sisters.
Corbin, Margaret, 1751-1800, American Revolutionary heroine, b. Franklin co., Pa. Upon the death of her husband in the attack on Fort Washington (Nov. 16, 1776), she commanded his cannon until she was seriously wounded. She was the first woman to be pensioned (1779) by the government. In 1916 her remains were moved from Highland Falls, N.Y., to West Point, where a monument was erected in her honor.
Beaufort, Margaret, countess of Richmond and Derby, 1443-1509, English noblewoman, mother of Henry VII. She was the daughter and heiress of John, 1st duke of Somerset, and great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. She was married three times: to Edmund Tudor, earl of Richmond, who was Henry's father; to Henry Stafford; and to Thomas, Lord Stanley, afterward earl of Derby. Renowned for her philanthropy, she endowed professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge and with the help of her confessor, John Fisher, founded Christ's College and St. John's College, Cambridge. She was the patron of many religious houses and of William Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde.
Burbidge, Margaret (Eleanor Margaret Burbidge), 1925-, Anglo-American astronomer. She was the first woman appointed director (1972-73) of the Royal Greenwich Observatory and was named (1982) president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Burbidge; her husband, Geoffrey Burbidge; William Fowler; and Sir Fred Hoyle showed (1956) how heavier elements can be built up from lighter ones in the interiors of stars.
O'Neill, Margaret (Peggy O'Neill), c.1796-1879, wife of John Henry Eaton, U.S. Secretary of War under President Andrew Jackson. She was the daughter of a Washington tavern keeper and married John Timberlake, a purser in the U.S. navy. After his death, she became (1829) the wife of Eaton, who soon afterward entered the cabinet. The wives of the other cabinet members refused to accord her social recognition because of the alleged intimacy between Major Eaton and Peggy O'Neill before their marriage and because of her humble birth. President Jackson, a close friend of Eaton, tried in vain to ensure Peggy Eaton a place in society. The attempt almost disrupted the cabinet and worsened the relations between the President and the Vice President, John C. Calhoun, whose wife was a social leader. As a result, Jackson transferred his favor to Martin Van Buren, who as a widower was better able than others to recognize Mrs. Eaton. She was well received at the court of Spain, to which her husband was appointed minister in 1836, and was a social favorite in London and Paris. Her maiden name is also recorded by historians as O'Neale and O'Neil.

See biography by L. Phillips (1974).

Mead, Margaret, 1901-78, American anthropologist, b. Philadelphia, grad. Barnard, 1923, Ph.D. Columbia, 1929. In 1926 she became assistant curator, in 1942 associate curator, and from 1964 to 1969 she was curator of ethnology of the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. After 1954 she served as adjunct professor of anthropology at Columbia. A student and collaborator of Ruth Benedict, she focused her interests on problems of child rearing, personality, and culture. Her fieldwork was carried out primarily among the peoples of Oceania. She was also active with the World Federation for Mental Health. A prolific writer and avid speaker who enjoyed engaging the general public, Mead was instrumental in popularizing the anthropological concept of culture with readers in the United States. She also stressed the need for anthropologists to understand the perspective of women and children. Her works include Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), Growing Up in New Guinea (1930), The Changing Culture of an Indian Tribe (1932), Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935), Male and Female (1949), New Lives for Old: Cultural Transformation in Manus, 1928-1953 (1956), People and Places (1959), Continuities in Cultural Evolution (1964), Culture and Commitment (1970), and a biographical account of her early years, Blackberry Winter (1972). She is also the author of a book for young people, People and Places (1959). She edited Cultural Patterns and Technical Change (1953) and a volume of Ruth Benedict's writings, An Anthropologist at Work (1959, repr. 1966).

See studies by Mead's daughter, M. C. Bateson (1985), and by J. Howard (1985).

Brent, Margaret, 1600?-1671?, early American feminist, b. Gloucester, England. With her two brothers and a sister, she left England to settle (1638) in St. Marys City, Md., where she acquired an extensive estate; she was the first woman in Maryland to hold land in her own right. Under the will of Gov. Leonard Calvert, Margaret Brent was made executor of his estates. She also acted as attorney (i.e., agent) for Lord Baltimore. As an important woman of affairs in the colony, she demanded (1648) a place in the colonial assembly. Her claim was refused while the heirs contested her handling of the Calvert estates. Shortly thereafter she moved to Virginia but kept her Maryland property.

See M. E. W. Ramey, Chronicles of Mistress Margaret Brent (1915); E. A. Dexter, Colonial Women of Affairs (1924, repr. 1972).

Drabble, Margaret, 1939-, English novelist, b. Sheffield, Yorkshire; sister of A. S. Byatt. Drabble's rigorous and unsentimentally realistic vision of an England split between traditional values and contemporary desires is apparent in such works as The Millstone (1965), The Waterfall (1969), The Needle's Eye (1972), and The Middle Ground (1980), and in her critical studies on Wordsworth (1966) and Arnold Bennett (1974). A noted scholar, she also edited the Oxford Companion to English Literature (1985, 1996). Increasingly Drabble's novels have become more complex and her fictional focus has moved from society as a whole to an insightful analysis of the fate of women, as in The Radiant Way (1987), its sequel, A Natural Curiosity (1989), The Gates of Ivory (1991), The Peppered Moth (2001), whose central character is based on her mother, The Seven Sisters (2002), and The Sea Lady (2006). Drabble was made a dame of the British Empire in 2008.

See her autobiographical The Pattern in the Carpet (2009); V. G. Myer, Margaret Drabble: A Reader's Guide (1991); studies by D. Schmidt, ed. (1982), M. H. Moran (1983), S. Roxman (1984), J. V. Creighton (1985), E. C. Rose, ed. (1985), L. V. Sadler (1986), N. F. Stovel (1989), I. Wojcik-Andrews (1995), and N. S. Bokat (1998).

Margaret, 1930-2002, British princess, second daughter of King George VI and sister of Queen Elizabeth II, b. Glamis, Scotland. In 1960 she married a commoner, the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created earl of Snowdon in 1961. They were divorced in 1978. They had two children: David, Viscount Linley (b. 1961), and Sarah (b. 1964).
Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949, American novelist, b. Atlanta, Ga. Her one novel, Gone with the Wind (1936; Pulitzer Prize), a romantic, panoramic portrait of the Civil War and Reconstruction periods in Georgia, is one of the most popular novels in the history of American publishing. The film adaptation (1939) has also been extraordinarily successful.
Webster, Margaret, 1905-72, American actress, producer, and director, b. New York City; daughter of Ben Webster and Dame May Whitty. Webster made her formal acting debut in 1924. After working with several English companies, including the Old Vic (1929-30), she returned to the United States and began (1935) an outstanding career as director and producer. In 1946, together with Eva Le Gallienne, she founded and managed the American Repertory Theatre, and from 1948 to 1951 she directed the Margaret Webster Shakespeare Company. Webster directed several operas and notable presentations of Shakespeare in England. She wrote Shakespeare without Tears (1942), Shakespeare Today (1957), and two autobiographical works, The Same Only Different (1969) and Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage (1972).
Margaret (Gaelic: Mairead or Maighread) (early 1283–September/October 1290), usually known as the Maid of Norway (Jomfruen av Norge, literally The Virgin of Norway), sometimes known as Margaret of Scotland (Margrete av Skottland), was a Norwegian princess who is widely considered to have been Queen of Scots from 1286 until her death, although this is disputed (see below). Her death sparked off the disputed succession which led to the Wars of Scottish Independence.

She was the daughter of King Eirik II of Norway and Margaret, daughter of King Alexander III of Scotland. Margaret was born in 1283, most likely in early April; it is likely that her mother died at her birth, but the date of that death is uncertain.


When the treaty arranging the marriage of Margaret and Eirik was signed at Roxburgh on 25 July, 1281, Alexander III's younger son David had already died in June of 1281, leaving the King of Scots with only one legitimate son, Alexander. Consequently, the treaty included a provision for the children of Margaret and Eirik to succeed to the kingdom of the Scots:
If it happens that the king of Scotland dies without a lawful son, and any of his sons does not leave lawful issue [not sons] and Margaret has children [not sons] by the king of Norway, she and her children shall succeed to the king of Scotland ... or she, even if she is without children, according to Scottish law and custom.

Alexander III made similar provisions when arranging the marriage of his son Alexander to Margaret, daughter of Guy de Dampierre, Count of Flanders, probably also in 1281. The treaty arranging the marriage, signed in December 1281, included a lengthy and complex document setting out the customs and usages which determined the succession. As well as general statement of principles, the annex includes specific examples of the rights of "A and M" and their children in particular cases. The document, while confusing in places, appears to favour primogeniture for male heirs, or their descendants, and proximity of blood for female heirs and their descendants.

When Prince Alexander died in 28 January, 1284, leaving only the king's granddaughter Margaret living out of his descendants, Alexander III summoned all thirteen Earls of Scotland, twenty-four barons and the heads of the three main Gaelic kindreds of the West, Alexander of Argyll, Aonghas Mór of Islay and Alan MacRuari of Garmoran. Done at Scone on 5 February, 1284, the signatories agreed to recognise Margaret as "domina and right heir" if neither Alexander had left no posthumous child and the king had left no children at the time of his death. However, it is unlikely that this was intended to allow Margaret to rule alone as Queen regnant, but rather jointly with her future spouse, whoever he might be. While unexceptional in the circumstances, this would appear to show that Alexander III had decided on remarriage. He did remarry, to Yolande de Dreux, but died on 19 March, 1286.

Lady and Right Heir of Scotland

After King Alexander was buried at Dunfermline Abbey on 29 March, 1286, the magnates and clerics of the realm assembled at Scone in parliament to select the Guardians of Scotland who would keep the kingdom for the right heir. At this time it was thought that Queen Yolande was pregnant, so that Margaret was not yet the obvious successor. It is uncertain what happened to Yolande's child; most likely she had a miscarriage, although other accounts say that her child was still-born at Clackmannan on Saint Catherine's day (25 November, 1286) with the Guardians in attendance to witness the event, just possibly she had a false pregnancy, and there was even one dubious English claim that she was faking pregnancy.

This, according to the oaths taken, made Margaret the heir at three years of age, but within weeks Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale and his son Robert, Earl of Carrick — the grandfather and father of the future King Robert Bruce — had raised a rebellion in the south-west, seizing royal castles. This rebellion was soon suppressed, and a Norwegian ambassador came to Scotland in the winter of 1286-1287 to argue Margaret's cause. Nothing came of this, and until 1289 the Guardians maintained the peace in Scotland between the competing claims of Margaret, Robert Bruce and John Balliol.

Far from the Scots displaying any desire to bring Margaret to Scotland, it was Margaret's father Eric who raised the question again. Eric sent official ambassadors to Edward I of England, then in Gascony, in May of 1289, with papers referring to Margaret as "Queen". Negotiations from this time onwards were between Edward, who returned to England later in the year, and Eric, and excluded the Scots until Edward met with Robert Bruce and some of the Guardians at Salisbury in October of 1289. The Scots were in a weak position since Edward and Eric could arrange Margaret's marriage to the future Edward II of England, or some other if they chose, without reference to the Guardians. Accordingly the Guardians signed the Treaty of Salisbury, which agreed that Margaret would be sent to Scotland before 1 November, 1290, and that any agreement on her future marriage would be deferred until she was in Scotland.

That marriage of Edward, Prince of Wales, was in King Edward's mind is clear from the fact that a papal dispensation was received from Pope Nicholas IV ten days after the treaty was signed. Sometimes thought to show bad faith on Edward's part, the Papal Bull did not contract a marriage, only permit one should the Scots later agree to it. Edward, like Eric, was now writing of Queen Margaret, anticipating her inauguration and the subsequent marriage to his son.

Edward and the Guardians continued their negotiations, based on the collective assumption that Margaret would be Queen and Edward of Wales King, but all these plans, and those of King Alexander, were brought to nothing by the death of Margaret in the Orkney Islands in late September or early October of 1290 while voyaging to Scotland. Her remains were taken to Bergen and buried beside her mother in the stone wall, on the north side of the choir, in Christ's Kirk at Bergen.

Although derived from a text written more than a century later, it is thought by some historians that the earliest Middle English verse written in Scotland dates from this time:

Quhen Alexander our kynge was dede,
That Scotland lede in lauche and le,
Away was sons of alle and brede,
Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle.
Our gold was changit into lede.
Christ, born in virgynyte,
Succoure Scotland, and ramede,
That stade is in perplexite.

The ballad Sir Patrick Spens has sometimes been supposed to be connected to Margaret's ill-fated voyage. Some years later a woman appeared claiming to be her, the False Margaret, who was executed by Haakon V, King Eric's brother and successor, in 1301.

Was she queen?

As Margaret was never crowned or otherwise inaugurated, and never set foot on what was then Scots soil during her lifetime, there is some doubt about whether she should be regarded as a Queen of Scots. This could ultimately be a matter of interpretation. Most lists of the monarchs of Scotland do include her, but a few do not. Some contemporary documents, including the Treaty of Salisbury (see above) did describe her as "queen", but it has been argued that she should not properly be considered Queen regnant.

Part of the problem here is the lack of a clear historical precedent. In the whole of Scotland's history as a fully separate country before the Union of the Crowns in 1603 there was only one occasion when a similar situation arose i.e. on the death of the monarch the heir was outside the country and not available to be crowned more or less immediately. This was when, on the death of Robert III in 1406, his heir, who became James I, was a prisoner in England. James was eventually released and crowned in 1424. In the intervening period official documents simply referred to him as the "heir", and the Regent Albany issued coins in his own name. Nevertheless, James's reign is now usually considered to start in 1406, not 1424.

Margaret in popular culture

  • Hendry, Frances Mary, Quest for a Maid. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1988. ISBN 0-374-46155-4



  • Crawford, Robert & Mick Imlach, The New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. Penguin, London, 2001. ISBN 0-14-058711-X
  • Duncan, A.A.M., The Kingship of the Scots 842–1292: Succession and Independence. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2002. ISBN 0-7486-1626-8
  • Macdougall, Norman, "L'Écosse à la fin du XIIIe sieclè: un royaume menacé" in James Laidlaw (ed.) The Auld Alliance: France and Scotland over 700 Years. Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, 1999. ISBN 0-9534945-0-0
  • Oram, Richard (with Michael Penman), The Canmore Kings: Kings and Queens of the Scots, 1040–1290. Tempus, Stroud, 2002. ISBN 0-7524-2325-8
  • Traquair, Peter Freedom's Sword


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