"Gone with the Wind" Collection
Appraised Value: $12,000 - $15,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 5
Appraisal Video: (3:45)
Books & Manuscripts
Ken Sanders Rare Books
GUEST: I read the book when I was in my teens and liked it very much. A friend of mine who is a book dealer found this copy and sold it to me. And I wrote to Margaret Mitchell asking her about floor plans, because I was interested in architecture, and this letter was... came to me as a response from Margaret Mitchell in 1947. And she said there were no plans, and in her letter she included this brochure which Macmillan had issued with the original when they first printed the book.
APPRAISER: So you had the audacity as a teenage boy to write the famous writer and ask her some very impertinent questions.
GUEST: Probably, you're right.
APPRAISER: What I find fascinating in the letter is that she goes into quite some detail to respond to you, and she talks a lot about the novel, and Tara, the plantation, and admits to you that from Tara on to everything else in the book that you'll not find on any map, that it's all a mythical creation from her own mind. And then you also... you had the audacity later on, to the letter, apparently to ask her to send you drawings and plans of Tara. And she replies by suggesting that she isn't an artist or an architect and that she really isn't capable of such things. And then she's gracious enough to go on, as you point out, to send you this book that was actually published after the first edition of the book, not simultaneously with it. And if you would open it up to the marked page, where she has annotated the booklet, changing it to the correct of "sprained ankle." And then I'm not quite sure what the blackout is on the second page here. I'm not sure myself. It's quite blacked out, and we can't make it out. But clearly, the famous author objected to whatever she changed.
GUEST: Whatever it was, she didn't like it or it was incorrect.
APPRAISER: Can you imagine the fan mail she would have gotten after that movie came out?
GUEST: I'm very happy that she took the time and the effort to respond to me.
APPRAISER: It's very kind and generous on her part. I can't tell you how many copies of this book I see that people write, or call, or show me, "I have a first edition Gone With the Wind." And of course, as we all know now, it has to say, "Published May of 1936," which your copy does. So this in fact is an authentic first edition Gone With the Wind. And it's in a very nice dust jacket. How much did you pay for the first edition?
GUEST: You're asking me a question I really cannot remember. That was over 65 years ago, so... I know I did not pay an extravagant amount for it.
APPRAISER: Do you have any idea what the book's worth?
GUEST: I have absolutely no idea. I've never really given it any thought.
APPRAISER: Well, the book in and of itself is quite a valuable first edition. You've got a fine copy in jacket. I think I would value your Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind collection, the three pieces, at retail at between $12,000 to $15,000.
GUEST: Well, I'm delighted to know that. Unfortunately, I think I'll put it right back on my shelf again. (laughing) I thank you very much.
APPRAISER: Thank you for bringing such a wonderful book.
GUEST: I'm glad I brought it. Thank you.
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