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Article: Gone with the Wind, First Edition

Gone with the Wind, First Edition

Gone with the Wind is a classic historical romance novel from the mind of Margaret Mitchell. Mitchell was inspired by the idea of the South- as both a geographical location and a “place of imagination” as a writer. The South first inspired her after her mother took her to view ruins from the Civil War. Mitchell recalled: “She talked about the world those people had lived in, such a secure world, and how it had exploded beneath them. And she told me that my world was going to explode under me, someday, and God help me if I didn't have some weapon to meet the new world.” In many ways, this sentiment is echoed in her character Katie Scarlett O’Hara of Gone with the Wind, who's tenacity and desire to survive run as a theme throughout the novel. In Mitchell’s case, her weapon was her writing.

Gone with the Wind was the fastest selling novel in American publishing history. It first went on book stands on June 30, 1936. Mitchell had hoped that her 1,037-page novel would sell 5,000 copies, but in that summer alone, she sold an impressive 50,000 copies.

The first edition, first printing, which we offer here, numbered only 10,000 copies. These books were scheduled for release in May of 1936, however the release was delayed until June pending the Book of the Month Club schedule. As a result, the first edition, first printing bore an incorrect release date of May, 1936. The book ranked as the most popular American fiction novel during the first two years of its release.


This first edition features a tipped in signed letter. The letter was written by Mitchell shortly before the film Gone With the Wind premiered. In the letter, the author references her famous novel and how her life was upended after its publication. She wrote it on her own letterhead and signed it with her nickname, Peggy.


Now is your chance to own a first edition of this influential and classic American novel, which has been protected in leather binding and a custom slipcase.

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