Long thought to have been burned, last four chapters of Gone with the Wind turn up

The last four chapters of Gone with the Wind are on display at a library. An article in the New York Times looks back at the book, how it was written, and what happened to drafts after the author died.

It includes these gems:
- "Until fairly late in the process the heroine was called Pansy, and when Mitchell changed the name to Scarlett, thank goodness, she paid 50 cents an hour to have every page mentioning Pansy retyped."

- She wrote the last chapter first.

- "The finished chapters she put in individual manila envelopes, sometimes with grocery lists scrawled on them, and stored in a closet. Very few people saw them or even knew what she was doing."

Read more right here.



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I love the bit about her incorrectly correcting that and which. Something I have trouble with myself!

And also the statement that the book is massively racist. Well yes, it is. But it's so funny that he says "It wasn’t written in the 1860s but the 1930s, for God’s sake." Well, yeah. It was the 1930s and that is still how many people thought then. Sheesh. It's one of the values of reading the book now. Yes, it's racist. Read it, realize when it was written and consider that, how long it took to step away from those feelings. I get impatient with people who want to discount it entirely. It's important to remember what attitudes were and how they have changed (or maybe not) since then.
I read it aloud to my daughter when she was 13, or at least most of it. It was harder to put into context than I thought. Black people were sly or like children. I remember being enthralled with it at her age - she did not feel the same.
That is how Mitchell and the south she was raised in was trained to think.

I always thought that Mammy was the only character in the book with any real sense. She is really the conscience of the story but then, I suppose, she becomes a forerunner of the "Magical Negro." Sigh.
When I was a little girl, peaceful marchers (mostly black) were have fire hoses and German Shepherds turned lose on them.
I think her husband might have burned another manuscript, one that had never been published. At least that's the story I heard.
Very interesting story. She definitely had her opinions about drafts, didn't she? As a writer, I wish I had been exposed to the idea of drafts much earlier than I was, it's been tough to dispel the idea that books are born fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus. Writers burning their drafts doesn't help that matter. Though as a writer I can also understand the desire for some privacy to my process.

Do you mean he burned a ms for a different book completely? That feels sad.