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.
Restrictions on Access :
Collection is open to the public.
Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.Restrictions on Use :
Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Manuscripts Librarian of the Division of Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.
Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.
If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.Preferred Citation :
[Identification of item], Margaret Carver Leighton Papers, Ax 285, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Detailed Description of the Collection