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MARGARET MITCHELL - TYPED LETTER FRAGMENT SIGNED CIRCA 1941 - HFSID 55670

Two pages of a letter, describing the impact of World War II on her daily life and welcoming the diminished public interest in her as an author/celebrity.

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MARGARET MITCHELL
Two pages of a letter, describing the impact of World War II on her daily life and welcoming the diminished public interest in her as an author/celebrity.
Typed Letter Fragment signed: "Margaret", 2 pages present, 7¼x10½, Place and date missing but probably Atlanta, Georgia, circa 1942.On personal letterhead to Edwin and Mabel Granberry in part: "... Simultaneous with Father's illness came a crisis in John's business - the year-old drouth [sic] in this section and its effect upon hydro-electric power. The North Georgia lakes are at an historic low and everyone has been asked to conserve on current. The Power Company here and the other companies throughout the Southeast could take care of all customers in a satisfactory manner by the use of their auxiliary steam plants, were it not for the national defense program. Of course the factories which handle aluminum and steel and other war materials have first call on power. The situation is really a serious one here and we may even have a complete blackout of street lights. The merchants have already cut out their window displays and residential customers like us are using one light bulb and fumbling in closets with the aie of a flashlight. John went back to work about two months ago. I feel this his year's leave did him a great deal of good. He does not tire so easily now. Fortunately, because of the war or the natural cessation of interest in 'Gone With the Wind,' my mail has dropped to almost nothing and the tourists and telephone calls are no longer bothersome. Because of the war I lost everything in Europe in some seventeen countries. Bad though that may seem, it still has its good side, for John does not have to work on foreign stuff every night after working for the Power Company all day. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have again time in which to do normal things like buying a hat, going to a party and making surgical dressings at the Red Cross. I had almost forgotten that life held these simple and pleasant things. ..." MARGARET MITCHELL MARSH (1900-1949), a native of Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded the 1937 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for Gone With the Wind, her epic novel set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction South. At first uncertain about her book's literary merit, she had submitted her manuscript to Macmillan Company in 1935. Mitchell was stunned -- and thrust into the public spotlight -- when the book sold over 1.3 million copies in its first year. It remained on the best-seller list for 21 weeks, enjoying resurgence in sales with the release of the 1939 film based on the novel. Although proud of her novel's success, Mitchell soon tired of being in the spotlight, and began refusing interview and autograph requests. This letter reveals her relief that World War II has diverted the public's attention. John Marsh, Margaret Mitchell's husband from 1925 until her death. Had been a professor of English and philosophy at University of Kentucky-Henderson Community College, and played an important role in the writing of Gone With the Wind., editing her manuscript and offering suggestions. Interestingly, Marsh had been Mitchell's suitor before she married her first husband, ex-footballer and bootlegger Berrien "Red" Upshaw, in 1924. Her stormy marriage to Upshaw ended in divorce, and she married Marsh, an editor at the Atlanta Journal Sunday Journal, where she worked. He later became director of Georgia Power Company's advertising department. Edwin Granberry, a freelance book reviewer and critic, had reviewed her book in a glowing and unprecedented 1,200-word piece in the New York "Evening Sun" on June 30, 1936, the day of the book's publication. Mitchell had been so impressed by the report, which compared her book to Tolstoy's War and Peace, that she had written to thank him. Her letter started a lifelong correspondence -- and a friendship between the two couples: Margaret and her husband, John Marsh, and Edwin (a Southerner himself) and his wife, Mabel. Margaret and John first met the Granberrys at Blowing Rock, North Carolina, the summer campus of Florida's Rollins College, where Granberry was a Professor of English. It was during this visit that she had agreed to accept $50,000 in movie rights for her book pending contract negotiations with producer David O. Selznick (against Granberry's advice). Granberry was himself a noted author, a winner of the O'Henry Award for best short story. Multiple mailing folds. Paper clip impressions at top edge. Lightly toned. Otherwise, fine condition.

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