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Booking Travel
11/1/2002
Never go hungry again for a literary taste of Atlanta with our guide to the city through the life and work of "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell.
Tara may have been the place from which Scarlett O'Hara drew her strength, but it was Atlanta that brought out the best and worst in her. That's no surprise, given that her creator, Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, was born and raised in Atlanta.

For Scarlett, Atlanta was the place she went after her first husband, Charles Hamilton, died (so she'd be closer to Ashley Wilkes; never mind that it also meant living with his mealy-mouthed wife, Melanie). It was where Scarlett delivered Melanie's baby, where Scarlett and Rhett saw a city go up in flames, and where she returned after the Civil War to get enough money to save her beloved Tara.

The best place to start your visit is the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum (990 Peachtree St., 404-249-7012, <www.gwtw.org>; open daily). Mitchell and her husband, John Marsh, lived in an apartment here from 1925 to 1932. She began writing the book at this address at age 26 after quitting her reporting job at the Atlanta journal because of arthritis. Marsh is said to have brought home a typewriter one day, saying that since his wife had read most of the books in the library, she should try writing one. GWTW was published on June 10, 1936; in less than six months, it sold 1 million copies and later won a Pulitzer Prize. The building was designated a city landmark in 1989 and opened to the public in 1997. For a virtual tour, see <www.franklymydear.com>.

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