|John R. Marsh||(4 July 1925 - 16 August 1949) (her death)|
|Berrien Kinnard "Red" Upshaw||(2 September 1922 - 16 October 1924) (divorced)|
Ms. Mitchell learned most of the Southern and War Between the States' history that she knew from her paternal grandfather, Russell Crawford Mitchell, who had been a Confederate soldier. Margaret once joked that she had heard so much Civil War history from her grandfather that she was ten years old before she realized that the South had not won the War. Mitchell also learned some Southern history from her father, Eugene Mitchell, who was a real estate attorney in Atlanta and also an amateur historian. Mr. Mitchell was also a founder of the Atlanta Historical Society.
Mitchell's writing career began as a journalist for the "Atlanta Journal" newspaper in 1922. She continued at the Atlanta Journal until a broken ankle forced her to resign in 1926.
Ms. Mitchell began writing "Gone With the Wind" in 1926, after breaking her ankle in the same spot that she had broken it in a fall from a horse when she was a girl.
Margaret Mitchell claimed that she had never intended to publish "Gone With the Wind". In 1935, a friend of hers told Harold Latham, a visiting editor from the MacMillan publishing company, about the book. After some persuasion, Ms. Mitchell took the manuscript to his hotel. Mr. Latham stated that the stack of papers was almost as tall as Margaret was. Most of the pages had become mildewed and the book's chapters were out of order. After Margaret gave her manuscript to Mr. Latham she changed her mind about its possible publication and requested that he send the manuscript back to her. Mr. Lathams declined to do so. After reading the manuscript he realized that he had a very good book and published "Gone with the Wind" in 1936. It literally became an overnight success selling over a million copies in six months time and one million seven hundred thousand copies within a year of publication. It was in those days and is said to be still the second most printed book in the world, second only to the bible.
Ms. Mitchell steadfastly refused to help in the production of the movie of "Gone with the Wind". She told the producer David O. Selznick that he had bought the novel. It was there to do with as he pleased in filming it. Mitchell did send her friend, Susan Myrick, to Mr. Selznick as a technical advisor for the film. After that, Mr. Selznick left Mitchell alone.
In another effort to discourage questions about David O. Selznick's film adaptation of her novel, "Gone With the Wind", she told newspaper reporters - with all the seriousness she could muster - that she thought Groucho Marx would have make a good Rhett Butler.
Margaret Mitchell stated that she would never write a sequel to "Gone With the Wind". After her death, her husband John Marsh became the executor of her estate, and when Mr. Marsh passed away in 1952, Margaret's brother Stephens Mitchell became the executor. During his lifetime, Stevens firmly refused to grant publication rights to any sequel (in print or on film), and he also rejected the idea of any film remake of "GWTW". Only after death of Stephens was a sequel novel authorized by Ms. Mitchell's estate. The title of the sequel is "Scarlett", and it was later presented as a made-for-TV movie.
Miss Mitchell attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachussetts, for one academic year, 1918 - 19. She dropped out of college when her mother became ill with the flu during the great influenza pandemic of 1918. Maybelle Mitchell, Margaret's mother, died of the flu in January 1919. At that time Margaret returned home to Atlanta to take care of her father's home. She never returned to college at Smith or anywhere else. Smith College did award Ms. Mitchell, however, an honorary college degree after her novel, "Gone with the Wind", won the Pulitzer Prize for Best Literature in 1937.
Mitchell was pictured on a one-cent American postage stamp in the "Great Americans" series, and hers was issued for sale at post offices on June 30, 1986.
On August 11, 1949, Ms. Mitchell was crossing Peachtree Street in Atlanta to enter a movie theater with her husband John Marsh. She was hit by a speeding automobile that was driven by an off-duty taxi driver (driving his own car, not a taxicab) and was badly injured. She was taken to the Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, but she passed away five days later without ever regaining consciousness.
In 1936, the movie producer David O. Selznick bought the film rights to Margaret Mitchell's novel for $50,000. However, after Gone with the Wind (1939) had become a very best-selling film, Mr. Selznick decided that he had drastically underpaid Ms. Mitchell, and he sent her an additional $50,000.
Ms. Mitchell approved of the interpretation of Scarlett O'Hara by the British actress Vivien Leigh, after Mitchell finally viewed the film version of Gone with the Wind (1939). Overall, Michell also liked this film interpretation of her novel, with just a few minor quibbles. She thought that he mansion house called "Tara" (at the O'Hara family's plantation) should have been quite less opulent. Mitchell also reportedly did not like what the introductory "crawl" said, the one which appears on the screen after the opening titles. It says "There was a land of cavaliers and cotton fields called the Old South ... ", which Ms. Mitchell thought was too lush in its wording.
Ms. Michell was a good friend of the novelist Edwin Granberry. He was so impressed with her novel, "Gone With the Wind", that he rated it up with Leo Tolstoy's novel, "War and Peace". This sparked a lifetime friendship between the two, and he convinced Mitchell to agree to accept a payment of $50,000 for the movie rights for her novel in the contract negotiations with the purchaser David O. Selznick.
Ms. Mitchell's remains were buried beside those of her husband, John Marsh, in the historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.
[on 'Gone with the Wind] I hope I never write another thing as long as I live.
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