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Margaret Carver Leighton was born on December 20, 1896 in Oberlin, Ohio to Thomas Nixon Carver and Flora (Kirkendall) Carver. Her father was a professor at Oberlin College and Harvard University. She attended schools in Cambridge, Massachusetts; France; and Switzerland before obtaining her B.A. degree from Radcliffe College in 1918. On May 5, 1921, she married James Herbert Leighton, and together they raised four children: James Herbert, Mary, Thomas Carver, and Sylvia. They resided in Westfield, New Jersey, and Ballston, Virginia, from 1921-1935.
After her husband's death in 1935, Margaret Carver Leighton relocated to California and began writing books for children. Her subjects were inspired either from her own children (who served as the models for the four Hill children in the "Secret" books), or from historical personages and incidents.
From 1938 to 1973, she published 21 books: Junior High School Plays: Ten Short Plays on the American Epic (1938), The Secret of the Old House (1941), Twelve Bright Trumpets (1942, published in England as The Conqueror, and Other Tales from the Middle Ages), The Secret of the Closed Gate (1944), The Singing Cave (1945), Judith of France (1948), The Sword and the Compass: The Far-Flung Adventures of Captain John Smith (1951), The Secret of Bucky Moran, (1952), The Story of Florence Nightingale (1952), The Story of General Custer (1954), Who Rides By? (1955), Comanche of the Seventh (1957), The Secret of Smuggler's Cove (1959), Journey for a Princess (1960), Bride of Glory: The Story of Elizabeth Bacon Custer (1962), Voyage to Coromandel (1965), The Canyon Castaways (1966), A Hole in the Hedge (1968), Cleopatra, Sister of the Moon (1969), The Other Island (1971), and Shelley's Mary: A Life of Mary Godwin Shelley (1973).
She was a member of the Westfield, New Jersey, Board of Education from 1930-1934, a member of the Santa Monica, California, Public Library Board of Trustees, the Authors League of America, and P.E.N., serving as president at the Los Angeles center from 1957-1959.
Margaret Carver Leighton died on June 19, 1987, in Santa Monica, California.
(Source: Gale Literary Databases. "Margaret (Carver) Leighton." Contemporary Authors. 22 August 2003. 22 June 2005.)
The Margaret Carver Leighton Papers include manuscripts, galley proofs, research material, reviews, and correspondence relating to fifteen of her twenty-one books: Junior High School Plays, The Secret of the Old House, Twelve Bright Trumpets, The Secret of the Closed Gate, The Singing Cave, Judith of France, The Sword and The Compass: The Far-Flung Adventures of Captain John Smith, The Secret of Bucky Moran, The Story of Florence Nightingale, Frederick the Great, The Story of General Custer, Who Rides By?, Comanche of the Seventh, The Secret of Smugglers' Cove, and Journey for a Princess.
The collection also includes manuscripts of Comanche of the Seventh, Bride of Glory, The Canyon Castaways, Cleopatra: Sister of the Moon, The Other Island, and Shelley's Mary.
Among the 425 letters of the collection is a major series of correspondence with Wilma K. McFarland, the editor of The Portal and Child Life, 1937-1947.
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[Identification of item], Margaret Carver Leighton Papers, Ax 285, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
|1||1||Junior High School Plays. Manuscript; reviews|
|1||2||Secret of the Old House. Manuscript|
|1||3||Secret of the Old House. Galley proofs|
|1||4||Secret of the Old House. Page proofs|
|1||5||Secret of the Old House. Correspondence (publisher)|
|1||6||Secret of the Old House. Correspondence (general)|
|1||7||Secret of the Old House. Reviews; clippings|
|1||8||Twelve Bright Trumpets. Research notes|
|1||9||Twelve Bright Trumpets. Galley proofs|
|1||10||Twelve Bright Trumpets. correspondence|
|1||11||Twelve Bright Trumpets. Reviews|
|1||12||Secret of the Closed Gate. Galley proofs|
|1||13||Secret of the Closed Gate. correspondence|
|1||14||Singing Cave. Printer's copy|
|1||15||Singing Cave. correspondence|
|1||16||Singing Cave. Reviews|
|1||17||Judith of France. Research notes|
|1||18||Judith of France. Manuscript|
|1||19||Judith of France. Correspondence (publisher)|
|1||20||Judith of France. Correspondence (general)|
|1||21||The Sword and The Compass. Printer's copy|
|1||22||The Sword and The Compass. Galley proofs|
|1||23||The Sword and The Compass. Correspondence; reviews|
|1||24||Secret of Bucky Moran. Printer's copy|
|1||25||Secret of Bucky Moran. correspondence|
|1||26||Secret of Bucky Moran. Reviews|
|1||27||Story of Florence Nightingale. Manuscript|
|1||28||Story of Florence Nightingale. correspondence|
|1||29||Frederick the Great. Manuscript|
|1||30||Frederick the Great. correspondence|
|1||31||Story of General Custer. Outlines|
|1||32||Story of General Custer. correspondence|
|1||33||Story of General Custer. Clippings; reviews|
|1||34||Who Rides By? Correspondence; Reviews|
|1||35||Comanche of the Seventh|
|2||1||Comanche of the Seventh. Manuscript|
|2||2||Comanche of the Seventh. Galley proofs|
|2||3||Comanche of the Seventh. correspondence|
|2||4||Comanche of the Seventh. Reviews; clippings|
|2||5||Secret of Smugglers' Cove. Manuscript|
|2||6||Secret of Smugglers' Cove. Galley proofs|
|2||7||Secret of Smugglers' Cove. Correspondence; reviews|
|2||8||Journey for a Princess. Research notes|
|2||9||Journey for a Princess. Printer's copy|
|2||10||Journey for a Princess. Correspondence; reviews|
|2||11||Wilma K. McFarland. correspondence|
|3||1||The Canyon Castaways. Manuscript; editorial corrections|
|3||2||Bride of Glory. Manuscript, typed; revisions in holograph and typewritten|
|3||3||Comanche of the Seventh. Original manuscript; few corrections|
|3||4||Cleopatra. Manuscript; notes|
|3||5||The Other Island. Manuscript|
|4||1||Shelley's Mary. Manuscript|
|4||2||Shelley's Mary. First draft|