Margaret talks about the author of Gone With The Wind
Gone With The Wind is the only book written by Margaret Mitchell (8/11/1900 - 16/8/1949) – who sadly died at the early age of 49 when she was struck down by a speeding car. But what a book!
She was a journalist before she started writing, an injured ankle forcing her to give up work. Apparently when she wrote her newspaper stories she always had difficulty with the opening paragraphs so wrote the last part first. When she started writing Gone With The Wind she did the same. It’s an interesting concept though I’m not sure I could do it.
For nine years she wrote her book, some of it on old pieces of paper, some of it typed, and then she pushed it away in a drawer. It was years later, when she and a co-worker had lunch with the vice president of the Macmillan Company who was scouting for new talent, that her friend told him Peggy, as she was called, had written a book.
Margaret tried to dismiss the fact, saying the book wasn’t finished, but later changed her mind and took it to him. Apparently he had to buy a new suitcase to hold it all!
After some revisions his company accepted the book and it sold 50,000 copies in one day – she had hoped for 5,000 copies over its life!
Wouldn’t we all like to be in her place? It was published the year I was born! What would it be like, I wonder, to write a book so successful that it’s still in print all these years later? And has of course been made into a film.