Minnesota Author Biographies.

Margaret Culkin Banning

Margaret Culkin Banning

From Pressure (1927) by Margaret Culkin Banning

Tragedy, after all, does need its setting. It needs remoteness and loneliness and isolation. The scene needs to be well stripped so that great elements may have room to move--and may have background. Comedy and comfort must be done away with. If there is a sun it must be hot and intense; if it is night it should be black and sinister; and best of all there should be storm, furious and perilous and a churning, violent wind.

Biographical Notes

Birth: March 18, 1891, Buffalo, Minnesota
Death: January 4, 1982, Tryon, North Carolina

Author Margaret Frances Culkin Banning earned an A.B. from Vassar College in 1912, a certificate from the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy in 1913, and she was a Russell Sage Foundation fellow in research in 1914. Banning was the daughter of Minnesota State Senator (1895-99) William E. Culkin. She shared her father’s interest in politics and served as a delegate to a National Republican Convention and an alternate to another. Banning authored thirty-six novels and more than four hundred essays and short stories, usually concerned with the problems of religion, youth, women, and social change. As an advocate for women’s rights, her writings often featured women in non-traditional roles. Banning was a Vassar College trustee from 1936-44, a Duluth Public Library trustee from 1930-1982, the first woman admitted to the Duluth Hall of Fame, and a member of the British Information Service in World War II. In 1914 she married Archibald Tanner Banning; they had four children before divorcing in 1930. In 1944 she married LeRoy Salsich, but kept the Banning name on her writings. Following World War II, she worked in refugee and displaced persons camps in Austria and Germany. Banning’s last novel, Such Interesting People, was published in 1979. She was working on another novel at the time of her death.

Selected Works

The titles below link to the catalog record in MnPALS, the Minnesota Historical Society’s library catalog.

Country Club People
The First Woman
Half Loaves
A Handmaid of the Lord
Letters from England, Summer 1942
Salud!: A South American Journal
Women for Defense
The Women of the Family

Additional Resources

Minnesota Historical Society Links

• Search MNHS Library and Archives Catalog for author - Searches for works by this author in the Minnesota Historical Society’s library
Minnesota Historical Society Collections Online
MN150 - Minnesota Historical Society MN150 exhibit wiki

Web Links

Catholic Authors - Brief autobiography

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