Margaret Mitchell - Gone with the Wind - SOURCE of the TITLE - GWTW

This image depicts a slightly worn, first-edition book jacket of Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind—published in 1936—together with the author's signature. Click on the image for a better view.


As he discussed a publishing contract with Margaret Mitchell, Harold Latham recommended “Another Day” as the title for the still-unnamed book. Decision-makers at Macmillan, where Latham served as editor-in-chief, agreed with that recommendation.

Mitchell, however, wanted to think about it some more. She also wanted to change the name of her main female character from “Pansy” to something more suitable.

On Peggy’s list of possible titles were:

  • Bugles Sang True
  • None So Blind
  • Not in Our Stars

Also on her list was something from an 1891 poem by Ernest Dowson. Although the poem had a long Latin title—Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae ("I am not as I was under the reign of the good Cynara")—it also had a short phrase which Peggy really liked:

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind ...

The more Mitchell looked at her list of possible titles, the more she liked that phrase from Dowson’s poem. She placed an asterisk next to it, in her list, indicating it was her favorite.

We know what she meant to convey by “gone with the wind” because she talked about its meaning. In an interview with Medora Perkerson, broadcast via WSB (an Atlanta radio station) on July 3, 1936, Mitchell responds to a key question:

...The title of your book, Gone With the Wind means that the ante-bellum civilization was swept away by the tornado of war, doesn’t it?

Yes, Medora, that is the meaning of the title...

Mitchell also uses the phrase, “gone with the wind,” in the novel itself:

Was Tara still standing? Or was Tara also gone with the wind which had swept through Georgia? (GWTW, Chapter 24.)

Latham agreed that the long-unnamed novel finally had a great title. 

Mitchell's next major job, as she finalized her manuscript, was a lead-character name change. What should she use in place of Pansy?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 13, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Jun 17, 2016

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"SOURCE of the TITLE - GWTW" AwesomeStories.com. May 13, 2016. Jan 18, 2020.
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