Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind by Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley, Jr. – Book Review

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood by Ellen F Brown and John Wiley, Jr.
Published by Taylor Trade

In 1935, Margaret Mitchell had a manuscript. By 1940, her book had sold well over a million copies and the movie based on it became the first film ever to gross one million dollars in a single week. Over the next 20 years, Macmillan continually received fan mail for Gone With the Wind, an average of ninety letters a month. By 2010, more than thirty million copies of Gone With the Wind had been printed world-wide. How, though, did this happen? Luck, hard work, or some combination thereof?

This is the question that Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind aims to answer. It is not a biography of Margaret Mitchell herself, but of her epic work of historical fiction. The story is a surprisingly fascinating one. In many ways, Margaret Mitchell and her husband John Marsh blazed a trail for many future American authors, particularly in the realms of overseas rights. As Brown and Wiley make clear, the story of Gone With the Wind‘s success is the story of Marsh and Mitchell’s tireless work. It would have  been easy for everyone but Mitchell to make money from Gone With the Wind, but she and her husband made sure that did not happen.

People with 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.

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