Margaret Wise Brown
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|Margaret Wise Brown|
|Born||May 23, 1910
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||November 13, 1952 (aged 42)
|Pen name||Timothy Hay
|Notable work(s)||Goodnight Moon
The Runaway Bunny
The Color Kittens
James Stillman Rockefeller, Jr.
Margaret Wise Brown (May 23, 1910 – November 13, 1952) was a prolific American author of children's literature, including the books Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, both illustrated by Clement Hurd.
The middle child of three whose parents suffered from an unhappy marriage, Brown was born in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, granddaughter of Benjamin Gratz Brown. In 1923 she attended boarding school in Woodstock, Connecticut, while her parents were living in Canterbury. She began attending Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in 1926, where she did well in athletics. After graduation in 1928, Brown went on to Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia.
Following her graduation with a B.A. in English from Hollins in 1932 Brown worked as a teacher, and also studied art. It was while working at the Bank Street Experimental School in New York City that she started writing books for children. Her first book was When the Wind Blew, published in 1937 by Harper & Brothers.
Brown then went on to develop her Here and Now stories, and later the Noisy Book series while employed as an editor at William R. Scott. Her popular book The Little Fur Family, illustrated by Garth Williams, was published in 1946. Also in 1946, Brown wrote The Little Island and Little Lost Lamb, both under the pseudonym Golden MacDonald and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. The former won a Caldecott Honor recognition in 1946 and the latter the Caldecott Medal in 1947. In the early 1950s, she wrote several books for the Little Golden Books series including The Color Kittens, Mister Dog and Scuppers The Sailor Dog.
While at Hollins she was briefly engaged. She dated, for some time, an unknown "good quiet man from Virginia,", had a long running affair with William Gaston, and had a summer romance with Preston Schoyer. In the summer of 1940 Brown began a long-term relationship with Blanche Oelrichs (nom de plume Michael Strange), poet/playwright, actress, and the former wife of John Barrymore. The relationship, which began as a mentoring one, eventually became romantic, and included co-habitating at 10 Gracie Square, in Manhattan, beginning in 1943. Strange, who was twenty years Brown's senior, died in 1950.
In 1952, Brown met James Stillman 'Pebble' Rockefeller Jr. at a party, and they became engaged. Later that year, while on a book tour in Nice, France, she unexpectedly died at 42 of an embolism, two weeks after emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst. (Kicking up her leg to show the doctor how well she was feeling ironically caused a blood clot that had formed in her leg to dislodge and travel to her heart.) By the time of Brown's death, she had authored well over one hundred books. Her ashes were scattered at her island home, "The Only House" in Vinalhaven, Maine.
Depending on the circle of friends, Brown went by multiple nicknames. To her Dana School and Hollins friends, she was "Tim" (named for the color of her hair being similar to timothy hay). To Bank Street friends she was "Brownie."  To William Gaston she was "Goldie" (in keeping with the use of Golden McDonald for the Little Island.
Brown bequeathed the royalties to many of her books including Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny to Albert Clarke, the son of a neighbor who was nine years old when she died. In 2000, reporter Joshua Prager detailed in the Wall Street Journal the troubled life of Mr. Clarke, who has squandered the millions of dollars the books have earned him and who believes that Wise Brown was his mother, a claim others dismiss.
Brown left behind over 70 unpublished manuscripts. Her sister, Roberta Brown Rauch, after unsuccessfully trying to sell them, kept them in a cedar trunk for decades. In 1991, Amy Gary of WaterMark Inc., rediscovered the paper-clipped bundles of the more than 500 typewritten pages and set about getting the stories published.
Many of Brown's books have been re-released with new illustrations decades after their original publication. Many more of her books are still in print with the original illustrations. Her books have been translated into several languages; biographies on Brown for children have been written by Leonard S. Marcus (Harper Paperbacks, 1999) and Jill C. Wheeler (Checkerboard Books, 2006). Have a Carrot, a Freudian analysis of her "classic series" of bunny books has been written by Claudia H. Pearson (Look Again Press, 2010).
Bibliography (selected) 
- When the Wind Blew (Harper & Brothers, 1937)
- The Runaway Bunny (Harper & Row, 1942)
- Don't Frighten the Lion (Harper & Brothers, 1942)
- Red Light Green Light(Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1944)
- They All Saw It, illustrated by Ylla (Harper & Brothers, 1944)
- Little Fur Family (Harper & Brothers, 1946)
- The Little Island (Doubleday, 1946)
- Little Lost Lamb (Doubleday, 1945)
- Goodnight Moon (Harper & Brothers, 1947)
- The Sleepy Little Lion, illustrated by Ylla (Harper & Brothers, 1947)
- Wait till the Moon is Full (Harper & Brothers, 1948)
- The Important Book (Harper & Brothers, 1949)
- The Color Kittens (Little Golden Books, 1949)
- My World (Harper, 1949)
- O Said the Squirrel, illustrated by Ylla (London: Harvill Press, 1950)
- Fox Eyes (Pantheon, 1951)
- The Duck, illustrated by Ylla (Harper & Brothers; London: Harvill Press, 1952)
- Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself (Golden Press, 1952)
- Scuppers The Sailor Dog (Little Golden Books, 1953)
- Big Red Barn (Addison-Wesley, 1954)
- Three Little Animals (Harper & Brothers, 1956)
- Home for a Bunny (Golden Press, 1956)
- Another Important Book (Joanna Cotler Books, 1999) — published posthumously
- Noisy Book series
- The (City) Noisy Book
- The Country Noisy Book
- The Indoor Noisy Book
- The Quiet Noisy Book
- The Seashore Noisy Book
- The Summer Noisy Book
- The Winter Noisy Book
- About Margaret Wise Brown
- Marogaret Wise Brown Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, The University of Southern Mississippi.[dead link]
- Marcus, 32
- Marcus, 77
- Marcus, 97- 98, 114, 136
- Gaston, 152
- Marcus, 147 - 148
- Marcus, Leonard S., Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon (Beacon Press: 1992), pp. 167-178, 251. ISBN 0-688-17188-5.
- "Long Bio, MargaretWisebrown.com, WaterMark, Inc". Margaretwisebrown.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- Marcus, 23
- Marcus, 62.
- Gaston, 152.
- Prager, Joshua. "Runaway Money: A Children's Classic, A 9-Year-Old-Boy And a Fateful Bequest - For Albert Clarke, the Rise Of 'Goodnight Moon' Is No Storybook Romance - Broken Homes, Broken Noses" (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 8, 2000). Accessed Nov. 20, 2008.
- "Pop Culture News: A Trunkful of Treasures: Margaret Wise Brown's Manuscripts," Entertainment Weekly #88 (Oct. 18, 1991). Accessed Nov. 23, 2008.
- Have a Carrot: Oedipal Theory and Symbolism in Margaret Wise Brown's Runaway Bunny Trilogy. Birmingham, AL: Look Again Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-4524-5500-6.
- "Beyond the Top 50: Toddler Tales," USA Today (Sept. 12, 1996).
- "Brown, Margaret Wise 1910-1952." Something About the Author vol. 100 (1999), pp. 35–39.
- Churnin, Nancy. "Goodnight and Sweet Dreams," The Dallas Morning News (Jan. 5, 2001).
- Fleischman, John. "Shakespeare of the Sandbox Set," Parents vol. 63 (July 1988), pp. 92–96.
- Gaston, Bibi. The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Granddaughter's Search for Home, William Morrow (2008). ISBN 978-0-6-0857707
- Groth, Chuck. "An Heirloom for Fans of Goodnight Moon," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Feb. 19, 1995).
- Hurd, Clement. "Remembering Margaret Wise Brown," Horn Book (October 1983).
- Marcus, Leonard S., Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon, Beacon Press (Feb. 1992). ISBN 978-0-8070-7048-2
- Mitchell, Lucy Sprague Mitchell. "Margaret Wise Brown, 1910-1952," Bank Street (1953).
- Pate, Nancy. "Good Gosh: Goodnight Moon is 50," Orlando Sentinel (Feb. 24, 1997).
- Pearson, Claudia (2010). Have a Carrot: Oedipal Theory and Symbolism in Margaret Wise Brown's Runaway Bunny Trilogy. Look Again Press. ISBN 978-1-4524-5500-6.
- Pichey, Martha. "Bunny Dearest," Vanity Fair magazine, (December 2000), pp. 172–187.