William Faulkner Marries Estelle Oldham
Faulkner married Estelle in June 1929 at College Hill Presbyterian Church just outside of Oxford, Mississippi. They honeymooned on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at Pascagoula, then returned to Oxford, first living with relatives while they searched for a home of their own to purchase. In 1930 Faulkner purchased the antebellum home Rowan Oak, known at that time as "The Bailey Place". He and his daughter, Jill, lived there until after her mother's death. He sold the property to the University of Mississippi in 1972. The house and furnishings are maintained much as they were in Faulkner's day.
Faulkner had several years earlier courted a young woman named Helen Baird, who, like Estelle Oldham, ultimately married another man. However, on June 20, 1929, less than two months after her divorce from Cornell Franklin, Estelle Oldham and Faulkner were married. The marriage, which lasted the rest of Faulkner's life, was difficult from the start. Estelle even attempted—motivated at least in part by feelings of entrapment—to drown herself during their honeymoon, and in 1935 Faulkner would begin the first of a series of lengthy, if sporadic, relationships with young women, a pattern that would last for the rest of his life.