|Margaret Mitchell bequest evaluated|
Cathoilc News Service photo
This portrait of Margaret Mitchell from her brother Stephens Mitchell's home is part of a multimillion-dollar bequest made to the Archdiocese of Atlanta by Joseph Mitchell, Margaret's nephew. He died last October.
Catholic News ServiceBecause of a bequest from the late nephew of celebrated author Margaret Mitchell, the Atlanta Archdiocese now owns 50 percent of the literary rights to her Pulitzer prize-winning, best-selling novel, Gone With the Wind.
For the archdiocese, this means continuing revenue from sales of books and merchandise and participation in protecting the copyright of Margaret Mitchell’s legacy.
First published in 1936, the book sold 176,000 copies at its original release and was a success. By the end of 1938 more than a million copies had sold, and that number doubled after the release of the movie in 1939.
An estimated 30 million copies have sold worldwide. An estimated 75,000 copies every year in hardcover and other formats.
The book has been translated more than 30 times, including in countries as diverse as Albania, Chile, Denmark, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Turkey, Japan, Finland, the former Yugoslavia and Burma. New editions continue to be published in Europe and Asia.
When Margaret died in 1949, and her husband, John Marsh, three years later, their estate and the entire literary rights went to her brother, Stephens, a real estate attorney and Catholic in Atlanta. He in turn left the rights in trusts split between his sons, Eugene and Joseph.