Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood

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Overview

Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood presents the first comprehensive overview of how this iconic novel became an international phenomenon that has managed to sustain the public's interest for seventy-five years. Various Mitchell biographies and several compilations of her letters tell part of the story, but, until now, no single source has revealed the full saga. This entertaining account of a literary and pop culture phenomenon tells how Mitchell's book was ...
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Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood

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Overview

Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood presents the first comprehensive overview of how this iconic novel became an international phenomenon that has managed to sustain the public's interest for seventy-five years. Various Mitchell biographies and several compilations of her letters tell part of the story, but, until now, no single source has revealed the full saga. This entertaining account of a literary and pop culture phenomenon tells how Mitchell's book was developed, marketed, distributed, and otherwise groomed for success in the 1930s—and the savvy measures taken since then by the author, her publisher, and her estate to ensure its longevity.
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Editorial Reviews

The Book Lady's Blog
In a narrative as engaging and well-paced as that of Gone With the Wind itself, Brown and Wiley chronicle the journey of the story that captured the world’s imagination and the woman whose tireless efforts changed the way books are made, sold, and read. This is a celebration of the unique power great books have to shelter, heal, and unite us and it is a must-read for anyone who has wondered what life is like for the artists whose work changes our lives.
— Rebecca Joines Schinsky
Midwest Book Review
A beat up manuscript that was viewed as unfinished quickly became a cultural icon. Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood tells the story of both Gone with the Wind and its author Margaret Mitchell. An enigma of her contemporaries, people for years have wondered how the novel came into being and how it cached on so hotly, as well as what was the intent of the author during the story's dramatic almost cliffhanger ending. A fascinating exploration of literature, culture, and film, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood is a fine read and highly recommended.
The Midwest Book Review
A fascinating exploration of literature, culture, and film, 'Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood' is a fine read and highly recommended.
Devourer of Books blog
People with an interest in Gone With the Wind and the publishing business in general will find much to fascinate in this captivating history of the Gone With the Wind empire. Highly recommended.
From the Publisher
[A] fascinating perspective on the life of a tremendously successful book... New Books in Biography
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589796928
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/16/2012
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 604,671
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen F. Brown is a rare book dealer and freelance writer specializing in stories about antiquarian books and the rare book industry. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.

John Wiley, Jr. owns one of the largest collections of Gone With the Wind memorabilia in private hands, including every American edition of the novel and over 600 foreign editions. He writes a quarterly newsletter, The Scarlett Letter, for GWTW fans and collectors.

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Table of Contents

Cast of Characters ix

Introduction 1

1 This Woman Has Something 5

1900-August 1935

2 A Manuscript of the Old South 27

August 1935-January 1936

3 In Cold Type 41

February-March 1936

4 A Book with Definite Possibilities 57

April-May 1936

5 Fanning the Flame 75

May-June 1936

6 The Making of a Colossal Upper-case Success 91

June-July 1936

7 That Book About the Wind 105

August-October 1936

8 The Reluctant Celebrity 119

Fall 1936

9 Gone With the Wind, Inc. 137

December 1936-April 1937

10 Defending Scarlett's Honor 153

Spring-December 1937

11 From Greenland's Icy Mountains to India's Coral Strand 175

1938

12 Me and My Poor Scarlett 189

1939

13 Toting the Weary Load 209

December 1939-1942

14 Reconstruction 231

1943-Summer 1941

15 A Bolt from the Blue 249

Fall 1947-August 1949

16 Inherit the Wind 269

August 1949-1959

17 Minding Scarlett's Business 287

1960-May 1983

18 Tomorrow Is Another Book 303

June 1983-2011

Epilogue 323

Acknowledgments 325

Notes 329

Bibliography 359

Index 367

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2013

    Who knew a biography could be such a page turner!

    I couldn't put the nook down! I was always a casual GWTW fan, but this gave me a new understanding and love for it. Beautifully written, this account brings the GWTW journey to life. I applaud the citation and use of so many sources in a way that tells a dynamic story of what could easily just have been a monotone history lesson. I highly recommend this to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    Enthralling to the very end

    So much happens in this book and it keeps you engaged the whole time. It was incredible!

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Excellent Book on GWTW!

    I met one of the author's tonight at public library presentation and 75th anniversary of GWTW. Wiley presented with his dynamic historical context from which he drew most of the research for his book. I truly enjoyed reading it and recommend this for any GWTW fan!

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Must-Have for the GWTW Fan

    My grandmother stood on Peachtree Street during the premier of Gone With the Wind and swore she could have reached out and touched Clark Gable. She introduced me to the novel and movie at a young age, and I've reread it, re-watched it, and treasured it ever since. I was thrilled to see that a new book on this Southern icon was available, and I eagerly read it. Even though I have read a good deal about the book, movie, and Margaret Mitchell, I learned some things from this book that I did not know. I found Brown and Wiley's efforts outstanding, especially when it came to sharing little-known information. For instance, I never knew the role that Lois Cole played in the discovery of the novel. The information on the foreign copyrights and Mitchell's efforts on behalf of other American writers was quite interesting. This book also brings the entire saga, including Ripley's sequel and stage productions, up-to-date; the authors don't simply end the book with Mitchell's death, as so many other works do. If you are a GWTW fan and want to know more about this wonderful book, then this is a book that needs to be a part of your collection.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Engaging account well-told and lovingly-researched

    I am not a hardcore GWTW fan, nor a lover of biographies or history for that matter. That being said, Bestseller's Odyssey was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the life and times of Margaret Mitchell's great work. I received an advance copy of Bestseller's Odyssey with few preconceptions and so was not surprised to discover how little I understood of the publishing industry. What I was not expecting was to be so intrigued by the nature and number of legal hurdles which Mitchell and her work overcame. Extending far beyond its initial print publication, this book details all those who shaped the ultimate path of Gone with the Wind.

    Despite my original ambivalence (apologies all) towards GWTW, I found myself rooting for Mitchell as she struggled to protect her work and maintain her principled stance. My appreciation for Mitchell deepened reading how she overcame each successive challenge as she shepherded the book along its way. I chuckled reading the frequent excerpts from Mitchell's genteel yet fierce correspondence. The depth and breadth of this book was impressive and left me rueful for simpler, more civil times.

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    Posted September 9, 2011

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    Posted April 13, 2011

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    Posted April 29, 2012

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    Posted October 13, 2011

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