Margaret Mitchell, portrayed as rebellious and spirited as Scarlett O'Hara, grows up in a comfortably middle-class Atlanta home, absorbing her grandmother's stories of the Civil War and the burning of their city by the Yankees. Young Peggy, as she likes to be called, goes to Smith College in Massachusetts and hates it. Back in Atlanta, her mildly scandalous reputation is made more so by her first marriage, to Red Upshaw, a bootlegging rake. Later, her second husband encourages her to expand her writing talents beyond feature articles for The Atlanta Journal. Her first and only novel becomes one of the best-selling books of all time.