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Typed letter signed
1936. Signed. MITCHELL, Margaret.Typed letter signed.Atlanta, Georgia, August 22, 1936.Fascinating August 22, 1936 typed letter signed by Mitchell, writing psychiatrist Dr. Charles E. Mayos on her personal letterhead only months after publication of Gone with the Wind, with revealing insights into her early desire to become a psychiatrist as she writes, in part: "Nothing could have pleased me more than to have a psychiatrist praise the pattern of Scarlett O'Hara's emotional life… your words of praise about 'the accurate description of human emotions' pleased me so much."Mitchell's August 22, 1936 letter to psychiatrist Dr. Charles E. Mayos, written mere months after publication of Gone with the Wind, is one of the few known letters in which she offers revealing personal information, for Mitchell was famed for a profound "reticence about her life… so deep, in fact, that some of her closest friends claimed they were never sure they really knew her" (Jones, Tomorrow is Another Day). Here she writes of her early hopes of becoming a psychiatrist and of being "forced to leave college when my mother died as I was the only daughter in the family, and was needed at home to keep house. I hoped for years to go back to medical school." Her letter also affirms what Mitchell often insisted about Gone with the Wind—that the novel, in her own words, was entirely "written through Scarlett's eyes. What she understood was written down; what she did not understand—and there were many things beyond her comprehension, they were left to the reader's imagination, even as they were left to Scarlett's" (Harwell, Gone with the Wind Letters, 102). Her correspondent, Dr. Mayos, was on the staff of Watertown State Hospital in Illinois after serving as a captain in the Medical Corps at Camp Grant, Illinois. Mitchell's letter, in typescript on her personal letterhead, reads: "August 22, 1936, Dear Doctor Mayos: Since my book 'Gone With The Wind' was published I have received a number of letters, but non quite as penetrating as yours. I had thought, and frequently said with all sincerity, that I had written a purely objective novel—a novel that had nothing of myself or my own experiences in it—then your letter comes and sets me to wondering. Nothing could have please me more than to have a psychiatrist praise the pattern of Scarlett O'Hara's emotional life. I am one of those people who are disliked by all real psychiatrists. I am a layman who knows just a little about abnormal psychology. I started out to be a psychiatrist, but, unfortunately, was forced to leave college when my mother died as I was the only daughter in the family, and was needed at home to keep house. I hoped for years to go back to medical school, and with that idea in view kept up my studies. I realize that I know all the tops of abnormal psychology—and have none of the basic and rudimentary knowledge. Its [sic] like knowing geometry and never having known the multiplication tables. Perhaps you can understand, after this explanation, why your words of praise about 'the accurate description of human emotions' pleased me so much. Sincerely [signed] Margaret Mitchell [typescript] Margaret Mitchell."Text crisp and dark, only faint foldlines. A fine signed letter.
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2015-09-27           Check availability:      Biblio    

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