Gone With The Wind

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“Yes, I want money more than anything else in the world.”
“Then you’ve made the only choice. But there’s a penalty attached, as there is to most things you want. It’s loneliness.”

Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

 Scarlett

Today, on June 30, 1936, Gone with the Wind was released to the public with great fanfare.   It was an immediate success, with 50,000 copies going out the door as soon as the freshly printed books hit the shelves. They were sold for the exorbitant price of three dollars.  The book came into being when Margaret Mitchell needed something to do during a protracted recovery period following a car accident.  It seemed that Margaret’s husband, tired of transporting books from the library to appease his wife’s insatiable appetite for reading, encouraged her to write her own book.

Margaret was energetic, flamboyant, entertaining and a brilliant storyteller.  She engaged her audience with vivid characters and a dramatically rich and complex narrative.  Even at the end, she was uncertain whether Rhett and Scarlett were reunited!

“Gone with the Wind” is a Pulitzer Prize award-winning novel, yet many readers believe it presents a true historical perspective.  Indeed, there are certain areas relating to the reconstruction and the portrayal of African Americans that have garnered criticism.   Perhaps its greatest legacy is that it started a conversation and served as a reminder of the horrors of a Civil War.

“Perhaps – I want the old days back again and they’ll never come back, and I am haunted by the memory of them and of the world falling about my ears. ” 
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

24 thoughts on “Gone With The Wind

    • I remember seeing the 6-hour mini series – Scarlett, starring Timothy Dalton as Rhett and Joanne Whalley as Scarlett. And even Sean Bean made an appearance. I like the Gone with the Wind better. Sometimes, it is good not to know the ending because the story can then go on forever…. 🙂

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      • Oh, Gallivanta!! It is just as well!!! The actors were superb, but the story was not the same. I think I’ll stick with Margaret Mitchel and not know which way it ended.

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    • It was – and there are still new generations discovering it. Some themes are simply timeless! 🙂

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  1. I loved the book,. and loved the film – saw it eleven times !!!
    But now I’ve read all Bruce Catton’s classics, Shelby Foote’s and so many others on the Civil War I understand why many people feel that it was a brilliant book of propaganda for the South, and has caused the pendulum to swing back – that it’s done for the South what Uncle Tom’s Cabin did for Abolition…
    So in that it’s blurred the historical facts and miseries of the South and the case for Abolition I now think it’s an unfortunate book…
    As for the shenanigans at Gettysburg at the moment, I can imagine the ground heaving with veterans on either side turning in their graves !!!

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    • The real story of the Civil War and reconstruction is brutal and difficult to research and read. That was why I enjoyed Shelby Foote. Do you remember him in Burn’s “Civil War” documentary? His gentle drawl and precise detail, when combined, made him an overnight celebrity. His ability to communicate was extraordinary.

      “The Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things… It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.”
      ― Shelby Foote, The Civil War: A Narrative

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      • Yes, He was lovely in Ken Burn’s documentary, wasn’t he… But interestingly, I found that when I read Bruce Catton, Grant’s memoirs and many others, I felt that Shelby Foot was biased to the South in his accounts…
        Bruce Catton’s account of Appommotox is one of the most moving pieces of history and symbolism I’ve read..
        ( I think I’ve spelt Appommotox wrongly, but I can’t even pronounce it properly !!!!.)

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      • Thank you – I have already ordered Bruce Catton’s Book “The American Heritage New History of the Civil War” via the Vancouver Public Library. I also saw that it was available on Kindle. I agree, Shelby Foote came from the South so would see the Civil Way fro that perspective. It is very difficult to see all of history, isn’t it. And as time goes on, we add little bits and pieces as we go along. Fascinating, isn’t it? Even personal history fades and changes over time…:) BTW, I can’t spell or say it either.

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  2. This was a book that I was given as a prize on a school speech day and I still get it out and read it although it’s somewhat battered these days

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    • I am not surprised that you were given a prize! You are a remarkable storyteller, Dallas! Your write about themes that people are naturally drawn to…. 🙂

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      • Join the club!!! I received a special trophy in my 11th grade which was given to the person who tried the hardest, but never won anything!! That was the very best award I ever received! I think I’ll go to that chair that you talk about! That’s where the interesting people sit.

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  3. Isn’t something that Margret’s legacy lives on to this day, like being haunted that the world is falling about our ears, but maybe more than ever especially when we see documentaries like “Chasing Ice”on the world glacier meltdown. Or “Le Romain” about Hydro Quebec squeezing out wild life in the process of rearranging nature to trap the last of our great rivers to produce more electricity that we don’t need so we sell it to the US at a loss. Or the tar sands that we want to run thru Alberta, BC, the US States in underground pipelines that could break and destroy nature like we’ve already done in the past, so as to continue feeding the wealth of the poor oil industry and its other assorted poor beneficiaries, instead of finding alternative measures, which we have the brain power to do.

    Lady Budd, I love your stories dearly, but they do have a tendency to get me going on the injustices of my naive, careless or indifferent fellowman who follow like sheep to the slaughter, the powerful and greedy who know better but cannot rein in their insatiable / indestructible appetites.

    I apologize for taking advantage of your beautiful story to rant about this sorry side of mankind, for I also have fond memories of Margret Mitchel’s Gone with the Wind book and the equally block buster film that came out of it. Thank you for this. I do love your stories. JJ

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    • It is good to rant every once in a while, but then comes the time for action. We all have a voice, some gentle, some strident, but it all begins within. I love the following quote by Aldous Huxley:

      “I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”
      ― Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point

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    • She had a unusual background and her life had some interesting twists and turns. I didn’t know very much about Margaret Mitchell, but read briefly about her last night (she even met Rudolph Valentino). She could tell a story!!! Her use of themes was quite exceptional..

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  4. Ops… small typo should have read Rivière la Romaine, and if you can get a hold of the film documentary that was made on the subject, knowing some of your subject choices, I am sure you will be completely taken by it. It is titled “Chercher le Courant ” as in Looking for Current, water current that is. No doubt sub-titled, but the scenery is to say the least spectacular. JJ

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  5. What a story, and what a movie! And what a husband who encouraged his wife to write a book. Some credit must go to him!

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    • I agree! Isn’t it interesting how one idea, one suggestion, one conversation can change the course of history.

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