Recasting: Gone with the Wind in American Culture

By Darden Asbury Pyron | Go to book overview

Going with the Wind

Malcolm Cowley

I have to thank Miss Rosa Hutchinson of the Macmillan Company for a series of press releases that is more impressive than any published review of the season's best seller:

June 19.--"Gone with the Wind," the forthcoming novel of the real South in the sixties and seventies, by Margaret Mitchell of Atlanta, is having a record-breaking advance sale. Already--two weeks before publication--this Macmillan novel has piled up the largest advance sale of any book of recent years. It is the choice of the Book of the Month Club for July.

Ellen Glasgow is enthusiastic about it. She writes: "The book is absorbing. It is a fearless portrayal, romantic yet not sentimental, of a lost tradition and a way of life. I hope it will be widely read and appreciated."

June 29.--A fifth large printing of Margaret Mitchell first novel, "Gone with the Wind," has been ordered, although the book is just out this week. The book may be out of stock at Macmillan's for a few days, but booksellers throughout the country will have copies available.

July 13.--A sixth printing of "Gone with the Wind," by Margaret Mitchell , making a total of 140,000 to date, is being rushed through the press and will be ready this week, so that all current orders may be taken care of.

July 15.--Motion-picture rights in Margaret Mitchell novel, "Gone with the Wind," have been sold to Selznick International Pictures, Inc. The price is believed to be the highest ever given for a first novel.

July 20.--176,000 copies of Margaret Mitchell novel, "Gone with the Wind," have now been printed by Macmillan in an attempt to cope with the steady inrush of orders. The demand for the book certainly reflects credit on the taste of the American reading public, for "Gone with the Wind" has been likened by various prominent critics to the work of Thackeray, Galsworthy, Tolstoy, Undset, Hardy, Trollope and Dickens--and to "The Three Musketeers."

July 23. --What is believed to be a record in recent years has been established by Margaret Mitchell "Gone with the Wind." Al

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This essay originally appeared in New Republic, September 16, 1936, pp. 161-62.

-17-

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