Gone with the Wind (Inscribed First Edition)
New York: Macmillan, 1936.
New York: Macmillan, 1936. First edition. First printing, May 1936, in first issue jacket. A Near Fine copy of the book with inner hinges professionally closed. In a VG+ jacket with creasing and signs of wear to spine ends, along panel edges, and at the flaps. Inscribed on the front endpaper "For Clara Crawford from Margaret Mitchell. April 20, 1936" and accompanied by a one-page Typed Letter Signed from Margaret Mitchell to the recipient on February 11, 1937, outlining the circumstances of how Crawford acquired this first edition at such an early date. The book wasn't officially released until June 30th, 1936. This is among the earliest dated inscriptions that we can find. Housed in a custom clamshell case.
According to the TLS accompanying this signed first edition, Mitchell had inscribed this copy for Clara Crawford at the request of Norman Berg. Berg, a friend of Mitchell's and the Southeastern rep for Macmillan, had set aside several first edition copies before they were released in stores; and even Mitchell herself turned to him for a copy. She writes to Crawford: "I am so glad Norman gave you an autographed copy. Just between you and me, he is going to give me one too! I know it sounds silly, but I did not have a first edition of my book. I never dreamed it would sell a whole edition and so I did not buy myself a copy. I was in the peculiar position of owning the millionth copy and not having a first when Norman came to my rescue."
Set in Georgia during the Civil War and Reconstruction, the novel follows the fall of the South as experienced by Scarlett O'Hara, one of American literature's most ruthless characters. More than a war story, Gone With the Wind is an attempt to whitewash the sins of chattel slavery by focusing instead on the resilience and humanity of its slave-holding white characters. "Mitchell carefully analyzes the nature of human resilience, and hold up hopefulness as the critical tool for getting through the worst of times" (The Guardian). Popular from its release and an almost-immediate best-seller, Gone With the Wind won the Pulitzer Prize the following year and would be transformed into one of the most iconic Hollywood golden-era films, starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. No other work of literature more fully mythologizes old Southern gentility and the Lost Cause narrative than Gone With the Wind. Near Fine in Very Good + dust jacket. (Item #5535)