MARGARET MITCHELL - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 10/20/1937 - HFSID 55691
Sale Price $2,550.00
In a letter to friend and fellow author Edwin Granberry, she makes several interesting observations about the writing process, including "Nothing is more powerful than the simple declarative sentence."
Typed Letter signed: "Margaret", 2 pages (front and verso), 7¼x11. Atlanta, Georgia, 1937 October 20. On personal letterhead to ""Dear Mabel and Edwin", [Granberry], in full: "I have been wondering how the book was coming on and whether or not the powers that be saw fit to give you free afternoons to work on it. I hope they managed to work this out for you and that the book is progressing. I won't say 'progressing satisfactorily' for I never knew a writer who felt that there was any satisfaction in what he was working on. When you get a minute please let us know, as John and I are very interested. Edwin, I have been keeping an eye peeled for General Hiram Granberry and in a volume of old reminiscences, named 'Co. Aytch,' I came across several mentions of him, especially a heart rending picture of the battlefield of Franklin and the General's death. If you haven't read this book I'll send it to you. I would give it to you, but I have had such a time running down this copy that I am afraid I could not get another one. It's a delightful book and so very modern in its viewpoint. In spots it is modern enough in the writing to sound like Ernest Hemingway. I'll mark one page for you which is especially in the Hemingway style. It makes me realize that nothing is more powerful than the simple declarative sentence. As soon as Mr. Littauer got your letter about the novelette I have been sitting upon he called by long distance. He is certainly on the job! He said he realized that I probably wouldn't turn it loose and he understood my promises to other editors (that I'd let them all see it at the same time), but he just didn't want to miss a trick. There isn't much news with us. Things are quiet again after the wild surge of renewed interest which forced me to go to Blowing Rock to visit the Dowdeys. These things go by waves and the only reason we can give for them is 'feature' stories about me. So I have decided, in the interest of a quiet life, not to have any more feature stories if I can possibly get out of them. The appearance of such stories sets the touring public to ringing my door bell. The Dowdeys were both charming people and I enjoyed knowing them. I think you two would have liked them and I'm sorry you weren't at Blowing Rock this summer. They have moved to South Norwalk, Connecticut, fairly close to Herschel and Norma. He is working on a story of Colonial Williamsburg. The sun didn't not shine a glint while I was at Blowing Rock and you can imagine the thickness of the fog, and I have never been colder in my life. I did not realize that winter set in so early there, and I frequently thought, as I wrapped blankets around my legs, of your gorgeous warm beach on the Gulf. You all will never realize what a wonderful time I had with you there. John sends his best and so do I. Please give our love to the children and write when you get a spare minute.". 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, her husband from 1925 until her death in 1949, formerly 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 editing her manuscript and offered 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. The novel he was writing would be published as Strangers and Lovers. KENNETH LITTAUER was Collier's fiction editor. CLIFFORD DOWDEY, known for his books on the Civil War and Reconstruction period, would publish the novel Tidewater in 1943. Co. Aytch, written by Confederate soldier Sam Watkins, is considered one of the best primary sources on the experience of Civil War combatants, was frequently cited by Ken Burns in his PBS documentary series The Civil War (1990). Multiple mailing folds. Creased and lightly toned at edges. Otherwise, fine condition.
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