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Gwen Bristow Galley Proof for Celia Garth, 1959

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Biographical Sketch

Gwen Bristow was born September 16, 1903 in Marion, South Carolina to Baptist Rev. Louis Judson Bristow and Caroline Winkler Bristow.

Bristow became interested in writing while reporting junior high school functions for her local newspaper. Bristow graduated from Judson College (Marion, Ala.) and the Pulitzer School of Journalism at Columbia University. From 1925-1933 she was a reporter on the New Orleans Times-Picayune. She became interested in writing novels and short stories through her husband, screenwriter Bruce Manning, and published her first novel in 1929. Bristow reached the pinnacle of her career with the western romance Jubilee Trail, which became a bestseller in 1950, and was adapted to a moderately successful film in 1954. She continued to write novels and articles for magazines until her death on August 17, 1980 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bristow’s sister, Caroline, was a Greenville Woman’s College alumnae.


  • The Alien, and Other Poems (1926)
  • The Invisible Host (1930), with Bruce Manning, later republished as The Ninth Guest
  • The Gutenberg Murders (1931), with Bruce Manning
  • The Mardi Gras Murders (1932), with Bruce Manning
  • Two and Two Make Twenty-two (1932), with Bruce Manning
  • "Plantation Trilogy":
    • Deep Summer (1937)
    • The Handsome Road (1938)
    • This Side of Glory (1940)
  • Gwen Bristow (1940), autobiography
  • Tomorrow Is Forever (1943)
  • Jubilee Trail (1950)
  • Celia Garth (1959)
  • Calico Palace (1970)
  • From Pigtails to Wedding Bells (1978), non-fiction
  • Golden Dreams (1980)