Margaret Mitchell Manuscript Avoids Tara-Like Fate
Way back in November, before most of you knew this blog existed, I reviewed an obscure little novel called Gone With The Wind. Heard of it?
Margaret Mitchell’s southern classic was book #5 for me–and, until I finish Infinite Jest, the longest novel I’ve read. Anyway, the book has been in the news recently because the last four chapters of the original manuscript–once thought to be burned–have been discovered at a small library in Connecticut.
The story goes that Margaret Mitchell thought all of her work should be judged in final, not draft, form and she directed her husband to burn all of her early manuscripts after she died. Well he did that, almost.
Somehow, George Brett Jr., the president of Mitchell’s publisher, had original copies of the novel’s closing chapters, which he later donated to a local library, who in turn threw the manuscripts in storage for the better part of 75 years.
This is like one of the stories where a Picasso painting turns up at a yard sale for $5.00. How do people not know what they have in their hands? Wow.
Interesting final quote to close the New York Times article about the discovery, though. 250,000 copies of Gone With The Wind are still sold every year. That’s the book, not the movie. Scarlett lives on.
If you’re interested, check out my review of Gone With the Wind, and tell me your thoughts on the novel.