2011 is the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. Sally Tippett Rains is available for speaking engagements and she can add an element of Civil War history or Movie history to your event. Rains can speak about any aspect of Gone With the Wind, either in regular clothes or dressed in a hoop skirt to enhance your gathering.
To book rains, contact:: info@GWTWbook.com
The Making of a Masterpiece, The True Story of Margaret Mitchell's Classic Novel Gone With The Wind contains the exclusive Civil War history behind Margaret Mitchell's story. Rains had access to a scrapbook from Mitchell's family which contains pictures from the 1800's as well as stories from Mitchell's Civil War ancestors. Some of these stories are very similar to stories in Gone With The Wind.
For more information: info@GWTWbook.com
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The Making of a Masterpiece won First Place in the Missouri Professional Communicators Contest for Best Book of 2010.
The Making of a Masterpiece won Third Place in the National Federation of Press Women Contest for Best Book of 2010.
The Harper family knew Margaret Mitchell and her family for generations and felt the Tarleton family in Gone With the Wind was patterned after them. They owned a horse farm and several generations of the family had twins. There have been other families with twins, such as the Peebles of Jonesboro whose family feel it was their family on whom she based the Tarletons also. The Harpers have a signed copy of Gone With The Wind which is still in the family and they were told she gave it to them after she told them she based her horse farm characters on their family. They still have letters from their Civil War relatives that Mitchell may have been privy to during the time she was writing her book, to get background on the soldiers.
The Making of A Masterpiece contains several letters and much more background on these and other possible real life people who may have provided inspiration for some of Mitchell's characters. This is one of the letters, written as it was written, with no corrections.
Camp McIntush May the 8th 1962
Near Goldsboro, N.C.
My dear wife and children,
I have just got your letter and was glad to hear from yo all. I got all you sent me. I reckon this leaves us in good health, we have very firey weather. It is thought we will have a big fight soon somewhere not far from here. I was in the Arkansas Regt. Yesterday I saw a man that was acquainted with Uncle G. Hanson and Claborn and old John McKansie and all. The boy, Phil, and Sarah are married and that was old John that was killed you was reading about. He was the Preacher but he was fighting nrave. Bob was with him and lay behind a log and killed 4 yankees at a time.
The one that shot his Paw had become clean. If the sows and pigs is doing well, I think you can spare one. Do what you think is best and Pap can tell you what you ought to have for them. Write soon how you are for I am uneasy as you all have the measles. So I remain your dear husband and Paw until death. I want you all to pray for us. I will write in 2 or 3 days.
Kiss little Fanny for me--R.H. Harper
This was a typical letter for the time. The "Dear Wife" salutation was the same that Ashley used when he wrote to Melanie on page 210 of Gone With The Wind. Also the mention of the measles was interesting as Charles Hamilton died very early from the measles.
Harper's sons George and James, who fought with him in the Civil War also. In the generation of Harpers that Mitchell knew in the early 1900's, there were two red-headed twins named Lon and Al, according to their great-niece, Debbie Whittemore, who helped contribute to the book.
“When Margaret (Mitchell) knew them as teenagers, she would see them come in together and she thought they were so cute," said Whittemore. "She always got a big kick out of Lon and Al. When she was writing her book, she told our family that story, and acknowledged to them that the Tarleton twins were based after them."