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Gone with the Wind Paperback – May 3, 2011
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About the Author
1900 - 1949
Born in Atlanta in 1900, Margaret Mitchell grew up surrounded by relatives who told endless tales of the Civil War and Reconstruction. She knew those who were relics of a de-stroyed culture, and those who had put aside gentility for survival. Her mother instilled in her that education was her only security. She attended Smith College but had to come home when her mother fell ill. After her mother's death, Margaret resolved that she had to make a home for her father and brother, so she left college and returned to Atlanta.
In 1923, she became a feature writer for the Atlanta Journal, and in 1925, she married John Marsh, a public relations officer for Georgia Power. She found most of her assignments unfulfilling, and she soon left to try writing fiction more to her own taste. Her own harshest critic, she would not try to get her work published. She began to write Gone with the Wind in 1926, while recovering from an automobile accident. Over the next eight years she painstakingly researched for historical accuracy.
She accumulated thousands of pages of manuscript. Here is how she later described her life's labor: "When I look back on these last years of struggling to find time to write between deaths in the family, illness in the family and among friends which lasted months and even years, childbirths (not my own), divorces and neuroses among friends, my own ill health and four fine auto accidents ... it all seems like a nightmare. I wouldn't tackle it again for anything. Just as soon as I sat down to write, somebody I loved would decide to have their gall-bladder removed. ... "
In 1934, an editor from Macmillan's Publishers came to Atlanta seeking new authors. He was referred to John and Margaret Marsh as people who knew Atlanta's literary scene. She steered him to several prospects, but didn't mention her own work. A friend told him that she was writing a novel, but she denied it. On the night before he was to leave Atlanta, she appeared at his hotel-room door with her still imperfect, mountainous manuscript and left it with him for better or for worse.
The rest of the story is well-known --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Gone with the Wind is an American War & Peace. This is serious literature, which won the Pulitzer prize, no less. Most people don't see past the epic plot (which isn't as cut and dried as you may think) or the love story, but this is no less than a successfull attempt to reclaim a discarded culture. It is not about crinoline and lace, it it about the Apocalypse and how losers of the counter-revolution must learn to live in a place where all their politics, personal or civil, are demolished. Scarlett O'Hara is popular because she is an American, driven, materialistic, sentimental and utterly ruthless. Rhett Bulter is the tragic character of this book; the way of life and ideals he disdained are killing him, and he suffers like no one else in this post-apocalyptic landscape. His departure at the end is an act of contrition as much as a romantic failure; he had tried to recreate the materialism of the ante-bellum world, but negeclected the spirituality (such as it is) of men like Ashley Wilkes. Both men, the dreamer and the realist end up alone in a very sterile place. This book is proto-feminist as well. Scarlett survives, even as everything around her dies, but in the end, she too is alone.
Don't dumb this masterpiece down. The movie fails to capture even a tenth of the depth here. And that awful sequel! Caused by the mistake that this book is some kind of romance novel. This is Art, and you can't stick a new ending on it, any more than you can a great painting or musical composition.
-Scarlett was partly based on Mitchell herself and her grandmother
-Rhett was based on Mitchell's first husband Red Upshaw
-the initials JRM in her dedication refer to her second husband John Reginald Marsh
-Margaret Mitchell maintained the only character taken from real life was Prissy the maid
-When asked who she'd like to be in the movie version, Mitchell said 'Prissy'
-Like a detective novelist, Mitchell wrote the last chapter first and the first chapter last
-GWTW is the only book to sell more copies than the bible
-Mitchell nearly went blind just proofreading the manuscript!
-Mitchell scrupously researched every detail for GWTW, even going to the town register to ensure there was no Rhett Butler or Scarlett O'Hara alive during the Civil War
-The novel took ten years to complete, most of it was written in three
-For style, she endeavoured to make her prose so that a five-year old could read it
-If she were ever to write a sequel, it would be called 'Back With the Breeze' On that note,please avoid the Ripley penned sequel 'Scarlett', it is atrocious.
-Gone with the Wind is my favourite book of all time, and yours too, I hope. Enjoy!
The author's use of prose was beautiful, all the scenes and action came alive for me. Some people seem to be offended by the racism in the book, but that's how things were back then. Sugar coating it would have ruined the story reducing it to a Harlequin romance.
This is an incredibly well written book about the death of a civilization and the struggles to survive in the new era. This is a book that should not be missed, particulary those who enjoy historical fiction.