22 May 2001
PROPERTY OF A LADY
MITCHELL, Margaret (1900-1949). Gone with the Wind. New York: Macmillan, 1936.
8o. Original grey cloth (a bit shaken, endpapers lightly browned); later dust jacket (rubbed, small loss at foot of spine, edgewear). Provenance: Annie Laurie Williams (by decent to the present owner).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, with the May 1936 date, SIGNED BY MITCHELL on the front free endpaper ("Margaret Mitchell"). This copy once belonged to Mitchell's agent Annie Laurie Williams, with whom the author had a famous disagreement regarding the film treatment of Gone with the Wind. Even prior to the book's publication, Williams was trying to sell the film rights to Gone with the Wind, believing, along with the publisher, that it was going to be a sensation. Williams, without consulting Mitchell, had refused two offers from Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers. Mitchell, who did not believe in the necessity of an agent and further believed the novel was not suitable for film, said "if Miss Williams had read the book, she would know it was not good movie material." The two had a falling out over this matter, but it was not the end of Williams's involvement with the project. Mitchell's publisher, Macmillan, thought very highly of Williams and secretly retained her to negotiate the film rights. Laurie successfully negotiated with David Selznick, and the resulting popularity of the film is a credit to her belief in the story's immense potential.
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