Margaret Mitchell and Her Novel
Gone with the Wind
This booklet has been compiled in response to a flood of requests from readers all over the country for information about the author and her book.
The Macmillan Company, New York: 1936.

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Facts and Figures

GONE WITH THE WIND was published June thirtieth, 1936. By the end of the first three weeks after publication, 176,000 copies had been printed to meet the demand from all over the country; at the end of eight weeks, 330,000. Three months after publication the total was 526,000. By the end of October, it had reached 700,000 copies.

Up to October first the highest record for one day's sales of the novel was 50,000 copies.

Motion picture rights in GONE WITH THE WIND have been sold to Selznick International Pictures, Inc. The price is believed to be the highest ever given for a first novel. The picture will be released through United Artists.

Permission has been granted by The Macmillan Company to transcribe GONE WITH THE WIND in Braille for blind readers.

An English edition of GONE WITH THE WIND was published by Macmillan and Company, Limited, in London on September twenty-ninth, and the novel is now being acclaimed in England. It is also a best-seller in Canada.

Inquires as to translations are coming from publishers all over the world.

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GONE WITH THE WIND has been received with remarkably unanimous enthusiasm by critics and readers from coast to coast. A few excerpts from reviews which have appeared in different parts of the country are given in the following pages.

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A Fine Novel of the Civil War, by J. Donald Adams
in The New York Times Book Review
5 July 1936

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From Various Critics

The East

WE HAVE had other novels about the Civil War by women, but I don't know of any other in which the interest is so consistently centered, not upon the armies and the battles, the flags and the famous names, but upon that other world of women who heard the storm, waited it out, succumbed to it or rebuilt after it, according to their natures. . . . And it is that which gives GONE WITH THE WIND its originality and its individual impact. . . . Miss Mitchell paints a broad canvas, and an exciting one. And, in spite of its length, the book moves swiftly and smoothly. . . . It is a solid and vividly interesting story of war and reconstruction, realistic in detail and told from an original point of view. -- STEPHEN VICENT BENET in the Saturday Review of Literature.

The story told with such sincerity and passion, illuminating by such understanding, woven of the stuff of history and of disciplined imagination, is endlessly interesting. It is a dramatic recreation of life itself. -- HENRY STEELE COMMAGER in the New York Herald Tribune.

GONE WITH THE WIND is a remarkable performance. . . . An imaginative creation of quite unusual fascination. -- R. M. GAY in The Atlantic Monthly.

The South

The people of Atlanta, and of Georgia, will most fully realize with what unerring skill the author has caught the very atmosphere of the region, the very rhythm of a people's speech,

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the very accents of their thoughts. . . . GONE WITH THE WIND is a story of heroes and heroines, and very human men and women, faultlessly told. -- SAMUEL TUPPER, JR. in the Atlanta Journal.

As rousing and exciting a story as has ever appeared within buckram. -- A. BERND in the Macon Telegraph.

It all knits up into one superb stirring vision of a great era in Southern history, nobly conceived and brought to life in human terms. We may indeed believe that GONE WITH THE WIND will take its place in the annals of English fiction beside books like "Vanity Fair," whose general scheme and structure it resembles. -- JANE JUDGE in the Savannah News.

The Middle West

No American canvas is richer, nor more thoroughly realized. It is one of the great novels of our time. -- STERLING NORTH in the Chicago Daily News.

Its characters are abundantly alive; it is full of dramatic episodes and startling crises. Its historical background is skillfully and vividly conceived. -- CLYDE BECK in the Detroit News.

The Far West

A book that is all story. . . . Like most simply written novels that carry their own utter sincerity for all to see, this is one of those books that you will hate to finish. -- JOSEPH HENRY JACKSON in the San Francisco Chronicle.

GONE WITH THE WIND is the most satisfactory, the most convincing, the most powerful presentation of that tragic period that has ever been put into fiction. . . . The story is alive, dramatic, and packed with genuine feeling. -- PAUL JORDAN SMITH in the Los Angeles Times.

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A Talk with Margaret Mitchell About Her Novel and the Reasons for Its Popularity
By Herschel Brickell
[from The New York Post, 7 August 1936]

. . . What makes a book so popular that everybody wishes to read it and, having read it, to tell everybody else about it in a desire to share the excitement?

I have talked at length with Margaret Mitchell herself on the subject and I repeat here some of the things she told me in the hope that they may go part way, at least, toward explaining why a historical novel of the Civil War should in this year of a national election and a threatened European conflict occupy the leisure of thousands of Americans in every part of the country.

. . . it proceeded from an irresistible inner compulsion . . .

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As for the style . . . chosen to write as clearly and as simply and as unobtrusively as possible. . . . She was careful, she told me, to have her Negroes speak the dialect of the part of Georgia where the scenes of the book are laid.

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I asked her if she had any explanation of her own of the novel's widespread appeal, and she said she supposed it was because the book dealt in primitive emotions which moved in straight lines, instead of the fantastic zigzags of human and sexual relationships that clutter up so much of modern fiction. . . . The double appeal of the conflict between Scarlett and Rhett Butler and the stirring background contain at least a part of the secret of the popularity of the novel, I think, although the perfection of the characterization is also inescapable.

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One of the heartening things about the book to me is that it tosses out of the window all the thousands of technical tricks our novelists have been playing with for the past twenty years and goes straight back to honest story-telling and to writing that anybody can understand.

I suspect it may have an important effect on the future course of American fiction in this regard, and I sincerely hope it does. I can see no competition to GONE WITH THE WIND for this year's Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

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About the Author

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"I began the book in 1926, I think. I was pretty tired of the 'realistic' fiction of the Jazz Age, so I thought I'd write about the young days of the fine kind of people I knew who had survived war and Reconstruction.

"If the novel has a theme, the theme is that of survival. . . . We've seen it in the present depression. It happens in every upheaval. Some people survive; others don't. What qualities are in those who fight their way through triumphantly that are lacking in those who go under? What was it that made some of our Southern people able to come through a war, a Reconstruction and a com- plete wrecking of all social and economic systems? I don't know. I only know that the survivors call that quality 'gumption.' So I wrote about the people who had gumption and the people who didn't."