Who was the author behind Gone With the Wind?

2 Jan

When I was 13 years old, I asked Santa to bring me a copy of Gone With the Wind. And when it duly arrived on December 25 I dived right in, finishing the entire book in little more than a day.

To say I loved it would be a massive understatement. So much so that many, many years later, it’s still tradition to re-read the epic novel every Christmas holidays, and occasionally to tackle Scarlett, although I CANNOT talk about the abomination that was the Joanne Whalley/Timothy Dalton mini series. Grrrrrrr.


While there are many scenes that resonate powerfully, even allowing for tweaks between the book and movie, my favourite has to be the ending. Was there ever a more heartbreaking question than “Where shall I go? What shall I do?”.

It made me want to know more about the woman who could create such a paradoxical and captivating character as Scarlett O’Hara. So I set about digging up some random facts on Margaret Mitchell. Here’s a few I learned . . .

* Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 8, 1900

* Middle name was Munnerlyn

* Was originally going to call her leading lady Pansy O’Hara

* Won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for the novel

* Never finished college as she had to take over the family household when her mother died

* Once worked as a journalist – for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine

* Wrote the last chapter of GWTW first and worked from there

* Died on August 16, 1949, after being struck five days earlier by a speeding car as she crossed Peachtree St

And one final bit of trivia. Rhett’s famous last line as uttered by Clark Gable doesn’t actually appear in the book. It says “My dear, I don’t give a damn”. The word “frankly” was only added on the big screen in what was an emotional stroke of genius.

2 Responses to “Who was the author behind Gone With the Wind?”

  1. Felicity January 14, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    GWTW has been on my radar in the last week as we watched Vivienne Leigh’s portrayal of Blanch in “Streetcar Named Desire” and I couldn’t help but see the parallel’s with Scarlett.

    Your tradition of reading this epic tome over the Christmas break is fantastic and you’ve inspired me to dig out my own copy to pop on my 2012 reading list….particularly now that I know these fascinating facts about MM.

    Happy day!

  2. whatcanilearntoday January 14, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    I have never seen A Streetcar Named Desire? Is it as good as reputation suggests? I am a bit scared to watch it in case I am disapointed….
    And definitely dig out GWTW. Such a classic. Have you read Scarlett as well? If not give it a go as it has massive twists and turns. I won’t give you any spoilers as I don’t want to ruin it but let’s just say Scarlett’s not done with Rhett just yet…

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