Margaret Mitchell - Gone with the Wind - GONE with the WIND TAKES SHAPE

This photo depicts the Crescent Apartment House where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind. She shared apartment 1, a very small place, with her husband, John Marsh. This image depicts the place after John and Peggy no-longer lived there. Image, by an unnamed photographer, online via the Atlanta History Center.


With her first husband, Red Upshaw, out of her life, Margaret (Peggy) Mitchell was free to marry Red’s close friend and loan-giver, John Marsh. The couple made a good life together, moving into an Atlanta apartment which they affectionately called “The Dump.”

Mitchell kept working as a reporter, at The Atlanta Journal, until she broke her ankle. When it wouldn’t heal properly, she became housebound. After her husband grew weary of constantly lugging books home from the library, for his wife to read, John told Peggy:

For [gosh] sake, Peggy, can't you write a book instead of reading thousands of them? (See “Margaret Mitchell,” an article by Sgt. H.N. Oliphant, for the October 19, 1945 issue of Yank, at page 9.)

With the portable typewriter which John gave her, Mitchell “got busy” doing just that. Later she said:

I had every detail clear in my mind before I sat down to the typewriter. (Quoted in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood, by Ellen F. Brown, John Wiley Jr., at page 9.)

Where she “sat down to the typewriter” was in the living room of apartment 1, near the window. The result of her writing effort was a massive novel—consisting of 1037 pages—about Georgians living in the 1860s and 1870s.

Writing the ending first, Mitchell worked-up her book in segments. If she felt like writing about war, she would work on the chapter about the Battle of Atlanta. If she felt like writing about love, she would work on something else.

It took about a decade for Mitchell to solve two main problems:

  • What should she call the book? 
  • What was the name of her main character?

Her working title—until she settled on a final title—was ... nothing. She had no title at all, working or final, until the book was nearly ready for publishing.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 13, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Jun 17, 2016

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"GONE with the WIND TAKES SHAPE" AwesomeStories.com. May 13, 2016. Nov 18, 2019.
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