First Edition Points and Criteria for Gone with the Wind

Year Published: 1936
Author Last Name: Mitchell
Author First Name: Margaret
Publisher: Macmillan
Original Price: $3.00
Pages: 1037

The copyright page states "Published May, 1936" with no other printing statements and no other copyright years stated. Books that say "Published June, 1936" and have no other printing statements are second printings. Boards are gray cloth with blue lettering on front and spine. Dust jacket lacks critical reviews makes no mention of printings. Back of dust jacket lists books offered by the publisher and on the first issue dust jacket, "GONE WITH THE WIND" is in the right column. In the next issue "GONE WITH THE WIND" was moved to the very top of the left column. After that, the dust jacket back contains critical reviews of the book.

Background: Macmillan had initially planned for May, 1936 as the publication month for Gone With Wind. So the first batch of books that rolled off the press in preparation for publication had copyright pages that stated "Published May, 1936". But as the publication date approached, the novel attracted the attention of the Book-of-the-Month Club, which wanted to make the book available to its subscribers in June rather than May. So Macmillan pushed the publication date to June, and changed the publication date in all subsequent printings to June. But rather than scrap their May copyright books, they released them in June along with their June copyright books. Consequently, the May books are the earliest and true first printings, and the June books are the second printing. Most historical accounts of this event estimate the amount of May books at about 10,000 copies.

After the author's death, the estate of Margaret Mitchell sanctioned Alexandra Ripley to write the official sequel which was published as Scarlett in 1991.

Gone with the Wind won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This book is also one of Time Magazine's 100 Best Novels. Other Time 100 Novels include The Bridge of San Luis Rey and The Grapes of Wrath

Picture of the 1936 first edition dust jacket for Gone with the Wind.
Picture of the 1936 first edition dust jacket for Gone with the Wind.

The copyright page must state "Published May, 1936" with no other printing statements.
The copyright page must state "Published May, 1936" with no other printing statements. Books that say "Published June, 1936" are second printings.

A price of $3.00 is on the front flap on the lower corner.
A price of $3.00 is on the front flap on the lower corner.

First printing dust jackets are scarcer than the book itself.  On the back of the jacket
First printing dust jackets are scarcer than the book itself. On the back of the jacket "GONE WITH THE WIND" is in the right column. In the next printings "GONE WITH THE WIND" was moved to the very top of the left column. After that the back contains reviews of the book.

Picture of the first edition Macmillan boards for Gone with the Wind.
Picture of the first edition Macmillan boards for Gone with the Wind.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Gone with the Wind.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Gone with the Wind.

The first issue dust jacket lists Gone With the Wind in the second column of the
The first issue dust jacket lists Gone With the Wind in the second column of the publisher's Spring Novels. The second issue dust jacket lists Gone With the Wind at the top of the first column of New Macmillan Books.

Later dust jacket printings like this one have printing references on the bottom, and
Later dust jacket printings like this one have printing references on the bottom, and they also have reviews on the back.

The copyright page in this photo is from a first June printing of Gone With the Wind. It
The copyright page in this photo is from a first June printing of Gone With the Wind. It is considered the second printing by collectors because copies with a May publication date proceeds it.

Early printings of Gone With the Wind require a bit of math to determine the exact
Early printings of Gone With the Wind require a bit of math to determine the exact printing it is from. The copyright page in this photo is from a fifth printing book. Calculating this begins with the knowledge that the initial June printing is actually the second printing. There was another printing in June which is the third printing. At the time this book was printed there were two printings in July which were the fourth and fifth printings. Thus this book is a fifth printing.

The copyright page in this photo is from an eighth printing of Gone With the Wind.
The copyright page in this photo is from an eighth printing of Gone With the Wind. Calculating this begins with the knowledge that the initial June printing is actually the second printing. There was another printing in June which is the third printing. There were ultimately three printings in July which were the fourth, fifth, and sixth printings. Then two in August which were seventh and eighth printings.

This copyright page is from a sixty fifth printing produced in 1949. By this point the
This copyright page is from a sixty fifth printing produced in 1949. By this point the publisher stopped listing every printing and simply states what printing this particular book is from.

This copyright page is from a later edition of Gone With the Wind.  Note the roman
This copyright page is from a later edition of Gone With the Wind. Note the roman numerals MCMXXXVI (1936). It has no collectible value.

This copyright page is from a facsimile of the first edition. While the copyright page
This copyright page is from a facsimile of the first edition. While the copyright page does state May, 1936, it also states that the copyright was renewed in 1964.

The back of this facsimile first edition has an ISBN. Books printed prior to 1970 usually
The back of this facsimile first edition has an ISBN. Books printed prior to 1970 usually lack an ISBN. While books printed after the 1980s tend to display the ISBN on bar codes printed on the dust jackets. So this facsimile was likely produced in the 1970s or 1980s.

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Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate.