Margaret Mitchell Letters to Pen Pal Go to Auction

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An amazing Gone With the Wind-era collection of correspondence between author Margaret Mitchell and a Philadelphia admirer, along with printed interviews, and the fan’s meticulously kept scrapbook will be auctioned next week by Massachusetts based, RR Auction.

The highlights of the collection are six one page letters, four signed “Margaret Mitchell,” and two signed “Margaret Mitchell Marsh,” dating from November of 1936 up to August of 1938, most with content regarding Mitchell’s novel and upcoming film.

“This is an unpublished and previously unknown archive, which has never before been on the market,” says Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. “These vivid letters gives us incredible details about Scarlet and Rhett and the other major characters that are amazingly insightful to Margaret Mitchell's creative process.”

Excerpts from the letters include:

November 4, 1936—“About the ending of the book and whether or not Rhett came back to his wife—well, you have me out on a limb. You see, I do not know myself. I honestly never thought about what happened to the characters after the book ended. You asked if I planned this to be a book when I began it. Yes, I had every detail in my head before I set a single word on paper.”

November 23, 1936—“I do not know if Ashley was the best drawn character in the book but he was certainly the hardest to draw. His was a complex nature and difficult to put on paper. No, Melanie never knew about Ashley and Scarlett. God has a way of shielding the pure of heart—at least, he did in my book.”

April 1, 1937—“I am somewhat pressed for time as a group of moving picture people are here in Atlanta at present investigating the background of ‘Gone With the Wind.’ While I have nothing to do in any way with the film production—casting, writing the scenario, designing the costumes et cetera…I do not plan to write a sequel, not have I any plans for future writing, as I do not like to write.”

August 16, 1938—“No, I know no more about the progress of the film of ‘Gone With the Wind’ than I did when I sold the moving picture rights. I thought last month that everything was settled for the newspapers reported that Norma Shearer and Clark Gable had been chosen. Later it turned out that it was not an ‘official’ release from the studios and Miss Shearer announced that she would not play Scarlett. So, that put everything back where it was before, and the newspapers do not say definitely whether Clark Gable will be in the picture.”

Also included are: an informational booklet about Mitchell and her book, with a notation to the front cover in Mitchell’s hand, “see page 18, M.M.M.,” with an arrow drawn on the page with the article; an unsigned 1938 Christmas card, with the envelope addressed in Mitchell’s hand; and a five-page typed transcript of an interview given on the radio on July 3, 1936, with Mitchell adding her return address on the reverse of the envelope.

The final component of the archive is an 8.5 x 11.5 scrapbook, meticulously compiled by the admirer of Mitchell. Each page contains affixed newspaper clipping and photos about Mitchell’s acclaimed novel, several reviews, the casting, production, and premiere of the film in both Atlanta and Philadelphia, and articles of Mitchell’s tragic accident and passing. Loose in the scrapbook are transcripts of a couple of interviews, a second informational booklet, a typed biography, and a gray-bordered card from Mitchell’s family, thanking the recipient for her kindness and sympathy.

Among other items featured in the Hollywood themed auction:

  • Screen-used Black Beauty hero car used in the 2011 film The Green Hornet.
  • One-of-a-kind original painting of Jean Harlow by renowned artist and collector Bill Mack, mixed media, acrylic, oil, and urethane, painted on a 24 x 30 piece of authentic metal from the original ‘Hollywoodland’ sign that stood in the Hollywood Hills from 1923 to 1978, during the glamorous 'Golden Age' of cinema.
  • Marilyn’s notated script from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, complete with dialog changes and personal acting tips.
  • Gorgeous oversized portrait od Marilyn Monroe for her appearance in the gritty Asphalt Jungle, the film that helped propel her to stardom.
  • Army Archerd’s Prestigious Walk of Fame plaque from the famed Variety columnist’s estate.

The Hollywood auction from Boston based, RR Auction runs from Thursday, June 19 to Thursday, June 26. For more information go to www.rrauction.com.

Image courtesy of RR Auction.

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