Lot 686: ALS signed "Margaret Mitchell Marsh," four pages on two adjoining sheets, 4 x 5, April 13, 1936. Letter to Miss Martha Angley. In part: "I'm glad if the information I sent you was of interest. I hope you will like the book—but it isn't a 'White Columns in the Moonlight—Cape jessamine in Miss Melissy's hair' kind of book. And not all the characters are noble and brave. Some years of research have convinced me that there were almost as many Scoundrels in the Sixties as there are today. But I hope you like my Scoundrels!
Yes, I should so like to meet you but as for an interview—well it should be entertaining for if you've never interviewed anyone, I've never been interviewed! My first impulse is to ask you to come out to supper the first night you are here but—let me tell you my situation. My publication date is, presumably, May 5. But it has been changed so often that for all I know it may be changed again. I have promised several people dates from the 5th to the week end. I know I have a tea on the fifth and one on the seventh. And the dear Lord knows what over the week end. But if publication date is postponed I will not have a thing to do. So you see, I'm up in the air. So will you do this? As soon as you get to town, telephone me. If I'm not here, please leave your number…I would like to make a definite date but I just can't, right now." In fine condition, with light soiling and some brushing to ink. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope (now laminated) addressed in Mitchell's hand, incorporating her initials, "M. M. M.," in the return address on the flap.
The recipient of this letter, Martha Angley, was a student at Georgia State College for Women who had selected Mitchell as the subject of her term paper on 'an up-and-coming Southern writer.' When approached with the idea earlier in the month, Mitchell replied quite graciously, noting that because the book was not yet published she hadn't 'felt very much like an author until now.' As indicated in this letter, the publication date for Gone With the Wind had been changed several times; as anticipated, it was again changed from May to June 30, delaying her instantaneous rise to fame. A charming letter written during the calm before the storm, just two months before her magnum opus hit the shelves.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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