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MARGARET MITCHELL - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 08/29/1941 - HFSID 55658

She writes of preparations to christen the new US Navy cruiser Atlanta. The ship would see valiant surface in the Pacific before being sunk at Guadalcanal. Mitchell then led a war bond drive to raise money for a new Atlanta, which she would also christen.

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MARGARET MITCHELL
She writes of preparations to christen the new US Navy cruiser Atlanta. The ship would see valiant surface in the Pacific before being sunk at Guadalcanal. Mitchell then led a war bond drive to raise money for a new Atlanta, which she would also christen.
Typed Letter signed in pencil: "Margaret", 1p, 7¼x10½. Atlanta, Georgia, 1941 August 29. On personal letterhead to Mabel and Edwin (Granberry). In full: "I won't be able to catch John all day today and I do not know whether he has answered your invitation to visit at the Beach, so I am writing to tell you not to expect us. I wish so much that we could be with you, for we need a quiet week very badly. I must leave for New York next Wednesday, where I am to christen the new cruiser 'Atlanta.' As you may have noticed by the papers, the christening was to have taken place on August 9th, but the CIO strike in the shipyards brought work to a halt. I was asked to stand by and be ready to come North on a few hours notice. And so, since August 5th I have been dancing up and down unable to plan for the next day and, worst of all, unable to wear any of my dresses (either of them) because the collars were clean and I might not have time to launder them. Just this morning I received formal notification of the date. I did not write you myself about the other business because my father, who has been ill for a year, took a worse turn about that time and I was too busy to write. But you must know how happy I am about it. Edwin, thanks for the long letter bringing us up to date on the play. We had only gotten as far as Mr. Windust's ulcers in St. Augustine, and it was as missing three issues of the Saturday Evening Post carrying a Mary Roberts Rinehart murder story. If the Lunts will take it it's well worth the delay. I know it will be a marvelous play and we'll be proud to bursting when it is produced. How I wish we could be with you know at the Beach! In haste and with love." 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 a resurgence in sales with the release of the 1939 film based on the novel. 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). Besides their visits to Blowing Rock, the Marshes often vacationed with the Granberrys at their home in Winter Park, Florida. Granberry wrote several books, winning the O Henry Prize for his short story, "A Trip to Czardi's" (1932). Margaret Mitchell did indeed christen the US Navy cruiser Atlanta (CL-51) on December 24, 1941. By that date, the United States would be at war with Japan. After seeing action at the Battles of Midway and the Eastern Solomons, the Atlanta was sunk at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (November 1942). Mitchell headed a war bond drive to fund a replacement cruister, raising $65 million in six weeks. She christened the new Atlanta (CL-104) in February 1944. In January 1949, seven months before her tragic death, Mitchell unveiled a model of CL-51, a gift to the City of Atlanta from US Steel. Lightly creased and soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.

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