Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Mitchell house, better view and the book

- The Margaret Mitchell house, in midtown Atlanta. I snapped this from my car window while sitting in traffic - isn't it a great photo? Ha! Yes - the trees obliterate the view of the front of the house that Mitchell referred to as "the dump." :) A better view of the back of the house is below.

- The house used to sit on nearby Crescent Avenue - a more appropriate setting for a house like this (I think), rather than busy Peachtree Street. They moved the house when it had deteriorated and was purchased by The Atlanta History Center, with the thought of opening it as a museum. Someone set fire to it and there were news reports showing people pilfering its bricks as souvenirs, but the history center persevered and it is indeed a museum now. You can view the apartment, her desk and typewriter, if you take the tour.

- It is the 75th anniversary of the publication of Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. All sorts of events are planned as tribute. She reportedly had read all of the books in the library and her husband said she would have to write one herself. And so she did, within that apartment house pictured above. Time magazine (online) has a very good article about the book and its anniversary, with a contemporary perspective: "Gone with the Wind seems genteel, but it is actually an unrelenting tale of how honor gives in to greed."

Read more:


desk49 said...

And here all this time until the end I know not.

Louvregirl said...

Lynn~ I'm fascinated by this. That is an amazing story surrounding that house. Thank you for it. I am glad that they were able to refurbish it! Who would set fire to such a structure? Ug! ..."how honor gives in to greed;" like this thought; interesting. Somewhat a response to the 'lesser angel' of our being(s.)

Louvregirl said...

Oh. Love love the triple porch- they knew how to build. :-)

Lynn said...

Ellis -

Well now you do! :)

lg -

They had to build the porches back on - the house was moved around so much the originals were lost.

Before it was moved, arsonists set fire to it, sometime in the late '80s, but much was salvaged, before it was moved to Peachtree Street.

And according to Wikipedia: "In May 1996, days before it was slated to open as the Margaret Mitchell House Museum, arsonists struck again, and the building was again gutted by fire. Ironically, through the series of fires, Apartment #1 (Mitchell's apartment) escaped with only minor damage. After the fire, restoration began anew, and the restored house finally opened to the public in 1997."

People are unbelievable, huh? Who would do that??? I'm so glad it was saved and it is all gated in now to protect it from vandals.

Fireblossom said...

i think the cat wrote everything and she took credit. ;-)

Mama Zen said...

Gone with the Wind is my absolute favorite book. I read it once a year.

Jannie Funster said...

Funny to think of moving a whole house.

I'd take a dump like that any day.

I believe Jim's mom's house had triple balconies (I'd have to check the old photos) before her fire in '85. 2 stories now, down from the 3.

Funny, I keep forgetting it's actually MY house, in my name. With Jim paying the mortgage. I like that. :) :) But where would he be without his woman behind him! :) His woman to sing him songs and do his dishes on average 3x weekly. And sweep his floors at least 2x a month!! :)


TALON said...

I'm glad the house was preserved. It certainly looks in beautiful shape now - not at all like a dump :)

I like that she just sat and wrote "a book" - isn't that amazing?

Riot Kitty said...

What a great story about her reading all of the books!

Lynn said...

Talon -

It is amazing - I believe there probably was a great deal of research on war events and such. I think it romanticized the war, but that's just me.

Riot Kitty -

Yes - those were the days before TV, so that would have been great entertainment.

Lynn said...

FB -

You know - that could have happened!

Mama Zen -

Isn't it interesting how the book has so many details that the film doesn't? Like the other children Scarlett had with other husbands.

Jannie -

I'll bet he likes the song singing the most!


Sara said...

I love that her picture shows her with a cat!!

I didn't know about moving of the house, or the fire or the stealing of bricks.

It makes happy to think this house finally found a place to share its memories.


Snaggle Tooth said...

Written in note pad after thurs work:
Lynns got a weds post...

A great pic of a walkway into a gated home- Looks huge from the back- Ah "Gone with the wind" Answers why Margret Mitchell. Thanks for the article link.
I've been unable to sign onto Blogger two nights in a row here- Yikes!

Lynn said...

FB -

You think??? :)

Mama Zen -

I only read it that one time, but I was struck by some of the differences between the book and the film - more children for Scarlett, for instance.

Jannie -

Just having you to sing songs to him is making him extremely happy, I'll bet.


Talon -

I'm sure it was carefully researched, but it was definitely slanted in favor of the South. :)

Sara -

The news showed a woman picking up a brick and looking around to see if anyone was watching. She scurried off furtively, but her face was shown clearly. The news used that one as an example, but I imagine she must have been embarrassed when the film was shown on the news.

Snaggle -

I'm glad you liked the link - I always wonder if anyone clicks on them.

And my Thursday post never did come back. It will make a reappearance soon though.