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When Margaret Mitchell was a little girl, she sat on her grandmother’s veranda and listened avidly to stories of the Civil War. It came as a terrible shock some years later when she discovered that the South had actually lost the war. Those stories, and the journalism work she did in the city of Atlanta would all help her to write her classic novel about Scarlett O’Hara surviving the horrors of the war that divided a nation.
I’ll tell you the fascinating story behind this memorable and, today, controversial novel and its author. Who was Rhett Butler based on? How did fame affect Margaret Mitchell? And what about that famous ending – did Scarlett ever get Rhett back?
It was actually an accident that brought about the writing of her book. The tale was not written chronologically and it’s a miracle it ever came to be published at all. Discover what name Margaret Mitchell originally gave to her feisty heroine, and what changes she made just before publication.
When Gone with the Wind was published in 1936 it was an immediate bestseller and speculation began as to which actors could take the main parts in a movie. When the film premiered in Atlanta in 1939, after a very troubled production, it broke box office records, won ten Academy Awards and remains the highest-grossing film in history.
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