Gone with the Mailman: Mitchell’s gossipy letters up for auction

Frankly, my dear, Margaret Mitchell didn’t have a clue what happened to her beloved characters after the final page of “Gone With the Wind.”

“Whether or not Rhett came back to his wife, well, you have me out on a limb,” Mitchell wrote in Nov. 1936 to a fan with whom she exchanged a series of letters over several years. “You see, I do not know myself. I honestly never thought about what happened to the characters after the book ended.”

That's just one of the tantalizing revelations Mitchell made in her typed missives, which are currently for sale on the cyberspace auction block. Boston-based RR Auction is selling six letters — four bearing the handwritten signature "Margaret Mitchell," two with her married signature "Margaret Mitchell Marsh" — along with a meticulously detailed scrapbook kept by their receipient, described by the auction house only as "a Philadelphia admirer" (the opening salutation, "Dear Mrs. Jennings," is clearly visible in photographs of five of the letters).

Mitchell also told her Yankee pen pal she had no plans to pen a “GWTW” sequel or anything else, for that matter — “I do not like to write,” she admitted in a letter dated April 1, 1937. It’s the same letter in which she groused about being kept busy by “a group of moving picture people (who) are here in Atlanta.”

The online auction began on June 19th and runs until 7 p.m. on June 26th. For more information on bidding and to see photos of the Mitchell items, go to http://www.rrauction.com/bidtracker_detail.cfm?IN=160.