American’s second favorite book, ranked just after the Bible, is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Set in Atlanta during the Civil War and the following Reconstruction, this extensive historic novel spans 12 years in the life of Southern Belle, Scarlett O’Hara.
Many people today are more familiar with the 1939 film, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, than the actual text, first printed in 1937, although today, more than 30 million copies have been printed. The story opens with a backdrop of the Rebellion and Secession of States from the Union to form the Confederate States of America, and is a coming of age story about the protagonist, who grew up a spoiled daughter of a cotton plantation owner, as well as the coming of age of a Nation. Exploring the social issues of the Caste System, Civil War, Slavery and a romance story as well, Gone with the Wind is fictional, but has become a part of American culture.
If you are one of the millions of fans of Gone with the Wind, or you just enjoy history, you can immerse yourself in the places woven into Mitchell’s novel, on a Gone with the Wind Tour. You’ll learn about the novel’s setting, and the historical battles of the civil war that are central to the story, and hear tales of the real-life inspirations for the book’s characters.
Your tour will stop outside the Warren House, where a young news reporter, Margaret Mitchell found the names and sentiments of soldiers who fought in the Battle of Jonesboro. You’ll take a walk through a Memorial Confederate Cemetery, where more than 700 Confederate soldiers lie in rest, but only three are known by name. The tour makes a stop at the Phillip Fitzgerald House, Mitchell’s maternal family home.