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Margaret Mitchell's Masterpiece

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Margaret Mitchell's Masterpiece

It was an immediate best-seller, considered by many to be one of the most readable and enjoyable long novels ever published. It spawned a record-breaking blockbuster movie that swept the Academy Awards. It seemed like the beginning of a brilliant career – but Gone with the Wind was the only novel Margaret Mitchell would publish in her lifetime.

Mitchell, who would have turned 111 today, wrote most of the novel in secret, fearing failure and a lack of encouragement. Even after she steeled herself and gave a partial manuscript to a publisher, she changed her mind and tried to get it back. Luckily for us, the publisher had already begun reading it… and he loved what he'd read. Mitchell completed the novel at his urging, and the rest is literary and cinematic history.

Mitchell's birthday is the perfect occasion to revisit her great work. It might take you a little longer than the afternoon to complete Gone with the Wind, the novel – but perhaps the movie should go on your evening viewing list. Here are a few clips to whet your appetite.

Rhett tells Scarlett, "You need kissing badly."

Clark Gable utters one of the most famous lines in movie history.

And Scarlett displays her strength against a backdrop of one of cinema's most gorgeous shots.