Gone with the wind

November 30, 2013

The long wanted Gone with the wind novel ...

As promised, no Christmas posts all the time, although I have to restrain my fingers from typing something Christmas related! Ben and I are thrifting the recycle stores and antique shops quite alot though, in search for Christmas prettiness from another decade. And whilst thrifting, you now and then find something else you really wanted for a long time; the Gone with the wind novel. It's a coincidence, really, cause a couple of days before finding this marvelous book I cried to Ben I really wanted that book and how long I already searched for the perfect version of it - ofcourse from the 1930s. And the search payed off; Ben found it and brought it home for me. I actually expected him to come home with Christmas ornaments but this made me just as happy. And it was from 1937, too! It's a tripartite so I have to find me the other two parts but I've already seen that they aren't to rare. The dust cover and sketches of the book are made by a Dutch painter, artist and graphic artist named Anton Pieck. His works are noted for their nostalgic or fairy-tale like character.

The novel ...

Gone with the wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell in 1936. The story is set during the Civil war. People were enamored with the novel; Margaret Mitchell was often asked what became of her lovers Scarlett and Rhett after the novel ended. She did not know, she said, Rhett might have found another lover. Someone who was less difficult than Scarlett O'Hara. Mitchell received a Pulitzer price for fiction in 1937 and the book was adapted into an American film in 1939. Gone with the wind is the only novel published during Margaret's lifetime.

Margaret, a Southerner herself, began writing Gone with the wind in 1926 to pass time whilst recovering from an auto-crash injury that refused to heal. In 1935,  Harold Latham of MacMillan, who was an editor, was looking for a new fiction and as soon as he read Gone with the wind he knew he had a best-seller in his hands. Many titles passed in review; Tomorrow is Another day (from it's last line), Bugles Sang True, Not in our stars and Toad the weary load. Eventually Margaret Mitchell chose the title Gone with the wind which is the first line of the third stanza of the poem Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae by Ernest Dowson.

The Film ...

Selznick wanted Clark Gable from the start. Well ... his first choice was actually Gary Cooper but Samuel Goldwyn refused to loan him out. Selznick was eventually determined to get Clark Gable for the role and eventually struck a deal with MGM.

For the role of Scarlett O'Hara, many many many actresses, known and unknown, were screened but the producer David O. Selznick was never satisfied. They searched for two years and the film delayed; they interviewed 1,400 unknowns for the role after a nationwide casting call. Gone with the wind was Vivien Leigh's favorite novel and always said that if there ever came a filming, shé was to play Scarlett O'Hara - no matter what. Margaret Mitchell refused to publicly name her choice for the role but the actress who came closest was Miriam Hopkins. However, Hopkins was in her mid-thirties and was considered too old for the part. Paulette Goddard was first choice if the situation wasn't that Vivien met Selznick on the set of 'Burning of Atlanta', dressed in a Scarlett O'Hara-like outfit, announced by the brother of the producer, Myron Selznick (who was Vivien's agent in America) with: Here's your Scarlett O'Hara. Vivien was, at that time, a still little unknown actress in America and she was tested in Technicolor, together with Paulette Goddard, in 1938. Her casting was announced in January 1939. Vivien being English had to master the Southern accent but she did so well and eversince the film came out, Scarlett and Vivien's lifes became intertwined forever. The part was hers and hers alone. When Margaret Mitchell saw Vivien for the first time she said: That is mah Scarlett!

Some Scarlett behaviour ...

Gone with the wind was and still is, together with Wuthering Heights, my favorite novel and film. Everytime when one or the other (ironically; Vivien Leigh plays Scarlett 'O Hara in Gone with the wind (1939) and her husband Laurence Olivier portrays Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (1939)) was on television I hád to watch it; and if my parents refused, because they wanted to see something else, I showed some real Scarlett or Cathy behaviour, trampling my feet that I simply hád to see it. Luckily my mother loves these films too, but my younger sister and father did less so and were cackling throughout the film getting me all upset. I loved Vivien so much as Scarlett and there's no one who could ever drive her from her Scarlett O'Hara throne. Although Hedy Lamarr comes close enough!

Hedy Lamarr as Scarlett.

Anyway, I predict many hours close to the heater, eating mini cheesecakes and reading Gone with the wind! Hopefully I'll find the other parts soon enough, too!


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  1. Dear Lindsay, I always enjoy so much reading these posts. I could say that I always loved vintage items and when I travel long years ago, I used to spend hours in small shops in tiny villages looking puzzled to all that old objects wondering for what it was for. I always loved some classical films (before internet existed). Then I started to travel, we didn't had TV or PC and my life wasn't giving me the opportunity to learn more about vintage. So I could say that vintage and the old times are pretty much new to me, since only recently I have the opportunity to learn more about it. And that's why your wonderful blog is so important for me! I learn so much, I love each post so much. It's a delight for my eyes and soul.

    You are totally right, Vivien is Scarlett. Although Vivien and Hedy are so similar and both gorgeous, Vivien is so elegant and full of charisma, something that Scarlett O'Hara character needed, charisma and strength. I loved reading about the story behind the film, thank you so much.

    Ben gave you a precious book! The illustrations are fantastic.

    In Portuguese the film is named "E tudo o vento levou" - I always liked this title very much.

    Miss Beta x


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