March 31, 2011

"Gone With the Wind" Manuscript "Rediscovered"

Interesting story on the manuscript's history. I did not know that Margaret Mitchell's husband destroyed all of the manuscript in his possession following his wife's accidental death at age 49. Whether he knew or not about other sections of the manuscript existing is unknown.

...Snydacker continued. “Last summer, John Wiley, Jr., co-author with Ellen F. Brown on a recent release of a book called, Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone with the Wind’: A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood, called, knowing about the foreign language books. I went to the place where they were stored, scanned them for the author, and I was reminded of the 2011 75th anniversary of publication. So we began plumbing our acquisitions, and saw what we had while looking at the catalogue.” Snydacker told us. “So in the catalogue was listed this manuscript. We took it to the library committee and they agreed to take this public.”

Snydacker had it authenticated at Christie’s by Chris Coover, a senior specialist. “We carried it in a fireproof box and he verified that we had the long lost chapters. He was delighted with their condition. This small manuscript serves as proof of Mitchell’s work. Her husband did not know Brett had these last original typescripts.”

Check out the full article here.


Anonymous said...

The individual who donated the pages to the library in the 1950's was a retired executive of the MacMillan Company. I believe these were simply pages that MacMillan edited (with Mrs. Mitchell's consent) before the novel's publication. I very much doubt that Mr. Marsh would have violated his wife's will and kept some of the pages instead of burning them, after her death.

This "discovery" is really no discovery at all.

Paul Taylor said...

Perhaps - though it seems from the article that the library had forgotten about or "lost" the ms. within its holdings. According to the story, these final chapters are Mitchell's typescript with her handwritten corrections.