Margaret Mitchell letter to Miss Ellen Elliott

Margaret Mitchell letter to Miss Ellen Elliott

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Elliott, Ellen
Title: Margaret Mitchell letter to Miss Ellen Elliott
Dates: 1937 October 5
Quantity: 0.1 Linear feet (2 items in portfolio)
Coll. Number: ms2513

Biographical/Historical Note

"Margaret Mitchell was the author of Gone With the Wind, one of the most popular books of all time. The novel was published in 1936 and sold more than a million copies in the first six months, a phenomenal feat considering it was the Great Depression era. More than 30 million copies of this Civil War-era masterpiece have been sold worldwide in thirty-eight countries. It has been translated into twenty-seven languages. Approximately 250,000 copies are still sold each year. Shortly after the book's publication the movie rights were sold to David O. Selznick for $50,000, the highest amount ever paid for a manuscript up to that time. In 1937 Margaret Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize...On August 11, 1949, Mitchell and her husband decided to go to a movie, A Canterbury Tale, at the Peachtree Art Theatre. Just as they started to cross Peachtree Street, near 13th Street, a speeding taxi crested the hill. Mitchell stepped back; Marsh stepped forward. The driver applied the brakes, skidded, and hit Mitchell. She was rushed to Grady Hospital but never regained consciousness. During the five days before she died, crowds waited outside for news. U.S. president Harry Truman, Georgia governor Herman Talmadge, and Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield all asked to be kept informed of her condition. Special phone lines were installed at Grady Hospital, and friends manned the lines in four-hour shifts. Mitchell died on August 16, 1949, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta." - "Margaret Mitchell." New Georgia Encyclopedia. (Retrieved August 25, 2008)

"The Canadian branch of the English Macmillan Company was founded on 26 December 1905 as the Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd, also called Macmillan of Canada and after July 1995, Macmillan Canada. Earlier documents pertain to the Morang Education Co. Ltd., purchased by Macmillan in 1912. The English owners of the Canadian branch sold the company to Maclean-Hunter Limited in 1973. In 1980 Macmillan of Canada was sold to Gage Publishing, later merged into the Canadian Publishing Corporation. In 1999 Macmillan Canada became an imprint of CDG Books (founded in December 1998). In April 2002 CDG Books was purchased by John Wiley & Sons, and Macmillan Canada ceased as an imprint and a publishing house. Some of Macmillan's well-known authors include Grey Owl, Mazo de la Roche, Vincent Massey, Hugh MacLennan, Morley Callaghan, Stephen Leacock, Robertson Davies, Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, and Carol Shields."--"Macmillan Company of Canada" from "Macmillan Company of Canada fonds. -- 1897-1996," McMaster Libraries, (Accessed August 17, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of one typed letter, three pages, small quarto (7 3/16 by 11 inches) from Margaret Mitchell in Atlanta, Georgia, dated October 5, 1937, to Miss Ellen Elliott. There is slight staining in the upper-left corners, otherwise the letter is in good condition. In it, Mitchell regretfully declines Elliott's invitation on behalf of the Macmillan Company of Canada to be their guest during a book fair in Canada. Mitchell explains that she has refused all invitations to speak lest she be obliged to accept every one. She also discusses the reception of Gone with the Wind, especially in the South, and how its sales have vastly exceeded her expectations. Also included is Elliott's typewritten reply, thanking Mitchell for her letter, and expressing her understanding. She offers another invitation to Mitchell in case she should decide at some time in the future to visit Canada, and tells her that she is a "past master at the art of 'keeping people off.'"


Arranged in chronological order.

Index Terms

Authors, American--Georgia--Atlanta--Correspondence.
Book industries and trade--Exhibitions--History--20th century--Sources.
Business records.
Elliott, Ellen -- Correspondence
Macmillan Company of Canada. -- Employees--Correspondence
Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949 -- Correspondence
Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949 -- Gone with the wind
Novelists, American--Georgia--Atlanta--Correspondence.
Publishers and publishing--Employees--Canada--Correspondence.
Women authors, American--Georgia--Atlanta--Correspondence.
Women novelists, American--Georgia--Atlanta--Correspondence.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Margaret Mitchell letter to Miss Ellen Elliott. MS 2513. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

For related materials regarding Margaret Mitchell located in the Hargrett Library, see also the following collections:

Margaret Mitchell family papers, MS 905; Margaret Mitchell scrapbook, MS 1614; Margaret Mitchell letter to Marjorie Rawlings, MS 2444; Margaret Mitchell photographs, MS 3031; Mitchell-Marsh family papers, MS 3060; Margaret Mitchell letters, MS 3326; Margaret Mitchell letter to Mr. Rubin, MS 3600m.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing