PHILADELPHIA – After the release of her Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War novel, “Gone With the Wind,” author Margaret Mitchell exchanged letters with a fan in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, providing a unique glimpse of the book’s creation and characters.
Not much is known of the recipient, Mrs. Harold Jennings, not even her first name. But the woman’s previously unpublished Mitchell letters are now part of an ongoing online auction.
In the correspondence, Mitchell wrote Jennings that she “had every detail” of the epic novel in her head before setting “a single word on paper.”
She also told Jennings “I do not plan to write a sequel, nor have I any plans for future writing, as I do not like to write.”
An author and journalist who published the one novel in her lifetime, Mitchell was overwhelmed by the response to the book, which gained her international fame and also won the National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936.
She received letters from Jennings during 1936, 1937 and 1938. They became pen pals and Jennings kept the treasured letters in a meticulously kept scrapbook.
The collection of six one-page letters, four signed Margaret Mitchell and two signed Margaret Mitchell Marsh, focused largely on the book’s content and the forthcoming film adaptation.
The items will be sold by RR Auction in Boston in an online auction scheduled to end Thursday, said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of the company.
The owner of the Jennings scrapbook, an unidentified Dayton, Ohio, woman, said her father’s uncle obtained it in the 1950s or ’60s from a friend or a garage sale in Philadelphia.