When Gone with the Wind appeared in 1936, it became on overnight sensation. Nothing like it in American literature had ever been seen. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and become one of the most celebrated films of all time. It has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and been translated into 27 languages.
Gone with the Wind is both an historical novel and an examination of the bewildering changes that swept Georgia in the 1860s. The novel begins just before the Civil War opens and ends in 1871. During those intervening years Mitchell’s novel illustrates the struggles of the Georgians who lived through the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.
Here are the most famous characters in American literature: handsome, controversial Rhett Butler; spoiled, flirtatious Scarlett O'Hara; aristocratic gentleman Ashley Wilkes; and saintly Melanie Hamilton. As the lives of these and other equally fascinating characters play out against the chaotic background of war and Reconstruction, Gone with the Wind scales heights of human drama that have rarely been reached.