From Publishers Weekly
Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the landmark film, this volume charts Mitchell's course from unpublished author to enduring, international success. Brown, a rare book dealer, and Wiley, who has for 25 years published a quarterly Gone With the Wind newsletter, set aside exegesis in favor of the lesser-known "insider" look at one of publishing's benchmark phenomenon, the book industry during the '30s and '40s, the toll that fame exacted upon Mitchell and her husband John Marsh, as well as the challenges of building and preserving a legacy. Featuring key players in Mitchell's story—including her brother and lawyer Stephen Mitchell, friends Lois Cole and Allan Taylor, Macmillan editors, producer David O. Selznick, and others—the authors expertly turn even the most technical subjects into an adventure. Whether contending with onerous contracts, copyright infringements, unauthorized editions, betrayals, and other problems stemming from sudden acclaim, Mitchell remained grounded in principles, responding with grace and a firm insistence on accuracy. She is revealed here as a most humane figure in a sobering, affective examination of celebrity that is also a testament to perseverance. Photos. (Feb.)
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Oh my goodness what a beautiful book! I started reading and couldn’t put it down last night, turned off the light close to 1am. A real winner. (executive producer of Georgia Public Broadcasting's documentary, Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel)
In a narrative as engaging and well-paced as that of Gone With the Wind
itself, Brown and Wiley chronicle the journey of the story that captured the world’s imagination and the woman whose tireless efforts changed the way books are made, sold, and read. This is a celebration of the unique power great books have to shelter, heal, and unite us and it is a must-read for anyone who has wondered what life is like for the artists whose work changes our lives. (Rebecca Joines Schinsky The Book Lady's Blog
History is one of my loves and any book that delves into the hidden, behind-the-scenes stories of great events fascinates me. Ellen Brown and John Wiley have written just such a book, explaining the untold story of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind
. This is a must read for any aficionado of this classic in American literature. (Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author)
Who would have thought that reading a book about the writing of Gone With the Wind
could be almost as riveting as the real thing? In this deep examination of the life and times of GWTW, Brown and Wiley have inked a masterwork of their own. Booklovers of all stripes—not just those who bleed scarlet when pricked—will be enthralled by this story of one of the great literary successes of modern times. (Dean King, author of Skeletons on the Zahara and Unbound)...[T]he story behind the story is the riveting equivalent of a literary thriller.
)Entertaining and thoroughly researched, Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind provides fascinating new insights into the woman who created one of the world's most famous and enduring couples.
(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
)Amazingly, Brown and Wiley have written a book about a novel that...reads like a novel.
)With such comprehensive research and dynamic writing, this book is certain to appeal to a wide audience of literary, history, and film buffs.
(Fine Books & Collections
)...[R]eads like an intriguing international mystery. Granted unprecedented access to records and correspondence about the book’s publishing, movie that followed and legacy that remains, the authors reveal the whole saga—worthy of a fainting spell from Scarlett herself.
(Deep South Magazine
)[Brown and Wiley] tell a new version of events and give a fuller picture of the phenomenon than anyone before.
(River City Fiction blog
)A must-read for aficionados, Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is engaging history—and a powerful testament to the plucky Georgian who birthed her fictional baby and then, with dignity and grace, protected that child from tasteless, dishonest and unworthy assaults.
)...[T]he authors expertly turn even the most technical subjects into an adventure.
)Immaculately researched and addictively readable...a fascinating read for both casual and fervent fans alike.
(Gone With the Wind Scrapbook
)Who would image that a book about the publication history of a novel would be so fascinating?
A beat up manuscript that was viewed as unfinished quickly became a cultural icon. Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood
tells the story of both Gone with the Wind
and its author Margaret Mitchell. An enigma of her contemporaries, people for years have wondered how the novel came into being and how it cached on so hotly, as well as what was the intent of the author during the story's dramatic almost cliffhanger ending. A fascinating exploration of literature, culture, and film, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood
is a fine read and highly recommended. (Midwest Book Review
Fans of GWTW will surely enjoy this new book, but anyone with an interest in writing, publishing, or bookselling will find something to appreciate in this look inside the industry. Mitchell's book had quite a life of its own and reading about it from conception to publishing phenomenon to international copyright horror is endlessly fascinating. Margaret Mitchell alone imbues the book with such a charming and vivacious spirit I felt I couldn't get enough of her. (Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA)...[W]ill fascinate not only fans of the book and movie, but anyone interested in literary/filmmaking development.
(Las Vegas Review Journal
)Learning more about how this fascinating book came into being and how it still stands up to today's reading demands is a captivating subject, and Brown and Wiley do an admirable job shining light on the process.
(Ventura County Star
)[W]ill enthrall the general reader as well as the wannabe author.
A fascinating exploration of literature, culture, and film, 'Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood'
is a fine read and highly recommended. (Midwest Book Review
)People with an interest in Gone With the Wind and the publishing business in general will find much to fascinate in this captivating history of the Gone With the Wind empire. Highly recommended.
(Devourer of Books blog
)Brown and Wiley give Mitchell’s monumental novel its due here. Drawing on meticulous research and unprecedented access to private papers, they follow Gone With the Wind from the glimmer of an idea to explosion as a global bestseller, hugely popular film, and subject of heated copyright battles. This is a vivid, highly readable account of the life of a story—and, incidentally, of its spirited, scrappy author. It is also a remarkable contribution to publishing history and literary studies.
(Susann Cokal, Author of Mirabilis and Breath and Bones
)Any novice writer who aspires to pen a phenomenally successful novel will come away wide-eyed from this detailed and well-documented account of the creation, publication, and ongoing product management of Margaret Mitchell’s famous novel of the Civil War South, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Freelance author Brown and Gone With the Wind collector Wiley take readers on the journey from Mitchell’s typewriter to Hollywood, showing how much care is required to maintain legal rights when it comes to publication, movie production, and merchandising, not to mention the 1930s price wars between drugstore book racks and traditional bookstores. The authors show the genesis of the novel itself, which Mitchell started as a way to fill time as she recuperated from an ankle injury. Once she completed the manuscript, prepublication interest grew. Before long, she found herself coping with fan mail and autograph seekers. The book concludes with current efforts by Mitchell’s estate to uphold the copyright, which expires in 2031. VERDICT This will appeal to all fans of the book or the film, as well as popular literary history buffs and writers.
)[A] fascinating perspective on the life of a tremendously successful book...