Landmark Books sells a lot of used books a year, but one of the best sellers bar none is ‘Gone With the Wind’. In observance of Margaret Mitchell’ birthday today (she would be 114 today), I thought we would share some fun facts about her and her monumental piece if Fiction.
Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was born on November 8th, 1900 in Atlanta, Georgia to a wealthy political family. She was an avid reader and attended Atlanta’s Washington Seminary, a private girl’s school with only 300 students. She later attended Smith College, but after returning to Atlanta to attend to her Mother during her freshman year she never felt the urge to return to college. It wasn’t until her separation from her husband that she was able to pursue a career in Journalism. Her first story for the Atlanta Journal appeared on December 31st, 1922 and was titled Atlanta Girl Sees Italian Revolution under the name Margaret Mitchell Upshaw. Her last story for the Journal appeared on May 9th, 1926. In all she wrote 129 feature stories for the paper and 85 news stories.
‘Gone With the Wind’ took three years to write. She wrote her novel on a Remington Portable No.3 typewriter. Mitchell submitted it and a novella she had written called ‘Ropa Carmagin’ to Macmillan in 1935. On June 10th, 1936 ‘Gone With the Wind’ was published. The first printing was only 10,000 copies. It had a cover price of $3.00, much higher than most novels at the time, but by December of the same year the book had sold one million copies. As on 2014 it has sold 30 million copies worldwide second only to the Bible in number of copies in print. The book went on to win a National Book Award for Fiction and Mitchell was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
Listed on the Library of Congress list of 88 Books That Shaped America, ‘Gone With the Wind’ is a must read for any fiction fan. Will it make Landmark Books list of the Top 50 Novels of All Time? You’ll just have to wait and see. That will be announced on January 1st, 2015.