MARGARET MITCHELL - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/12/1937 - HFSID 55685
Sale Price $4,080.00
Letter to fellow author and literary booster Edwin Granberry, accepting congratulations for her Pulitzer Prize but expressing a desire to preserve at least a little personal privacy.
Typed Letter signed: "Margaret", 1 page, 7¼x10½. Atlanta, Georgia, 1937 May 12. On personal letterhead to ""Dear Edwin", [Granberry], in full: "That was certainly a grand, long letter and John and I appreciated it immediately. Thanks again for the congratulations about the Award. I am just beginning to come up for air and realizing that it is really true. Since the news came so much has happened - flashlights going off, reporters slithering out of the cracks in the floor and the house full of people - that I have had no chance to really think. One of the nice features of the affair was that Harold Latham, who dug up the book, just happened to be in Atlanta on the day the Award was announced. He gave me a party complete with newspaper friends, as many orchids as a Kentucky Derby winner and barrels of Champaigne. While you and Herschel kept telling me last summer that it would undoubtedly work out this way, I just couldn't believe it. About going to Blowing Rock - John and I decided the day after the Award was announced that we wouldn't go. We had hoped to go and hoped that you and Mabel would be there, as well as the Brickells, but when we talked it over we decided that it would be not so much fun. We are afraid that we would get little opportunity to see you four and would be forced, through courtesy, to meet a number of people in whom we had no interest. I know that last sounds very rude, but I know you understand what I mean. I have had to meet so many people this last year, and if I am to go on a vacation I want it to be a happy one with people I like. There would be no happiness if (1) I had to meet scads of people, (2) if I managed to escape meeting scads of people either by being rude or by having John work twenty-four hours a day as a buffer. John needs a vacation and I am not going to put him through that if I can help it, so I suppose we will stay at home. Another reason I can't go to Blowing Rock is that I know perfectly well that, in spite of everything I could do, Doctor Grover would give out the impression that I was there in connection with the School. My clipping bureau has already sent me items from Northern papers about the coming Summer School, and I appear in these items as one of last year's visiting lecturers. A bigger lie was never told and I am writing these papers and asking for a retraction. I am sick and tired of this affair, and mad too. I think you are awfully sensible to give this summer to your book and I hope you get an awful lot done. It would be impossible for you to do any writing at Blowing Rock, and the thing that matters most now is getting that book finished. Love to you both. 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. JOHN MARSH was the husband of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell from 1925 until her death in 1949. Marsh, a professor of English and philosophy at University of Kentucky-Henderson Community College, played an important role in the writing of Gone With the Wind. After his wife was rendered bedridden after a 1926 accident, Marsh suggested that she write a novel, then continually edited her manuscript and offered key ideas and advice. 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. Because of the insatiable demand for news about her, Mitchell had asked Granberry to write an "official" article about her. The article, "The Private Life of Margaret Mitchell", would appear in "Collier's" on March 13, 1937. HAROLD LATHAM, an editor at Macmillan's, was touring the South in search of manuscripts when he first Mitchell reluctantly showed him a draft of Gone With the Wind. Immediately impressed with the book's potential, Latham helped overcome the author's reluctance to proceed with publication. Mitchell met HERSCHEL BRICKELL, a literary critic from Ridgefield, Connecticut, and his wife, Norma, at a writers' retreat at Blowing Rock in August 1936. Brickell had also written a publication day review of Gone With the Wind in the "New York Post", calling the book a "striking piece of literature." Multiple mailing folds. Lightly toned and creased. Ink mark (unknown hand) at top edge. Otherwise, fine condition.
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