Chronologically, her story, chronicled in the southern United States, portrays the life of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy cotton planter, who must use every means at her disposal to survive during the American Civil War, and later to the Reconstruction period. Although extensive, the work is known for its clarity and readability, with themes common to popular literature, adventure, war, passion and social turbulence.
Mitchell began writing it in 1926 to pass the time while recovering from some health problems. The writing process took almost ten years, and in 1935, the publisher Macmillan acquired the publishing rights of the volume. He quickly entered the bestseller lists and, shortly after its release, had his film rights bought by producer David O. Selznick. Launched in 1939, the homonymous feature, played in the lead roles by Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, was a public and critical success. The work has also often been adapted for the stages in the form of musicals, in different productions of Japan, France and England.
Curiously, this is the only work ever published by Mitchell; despite this, Gone with the Wind has two official sequences as well as some parodies and illegal sequels. Over the years, he has also been analyzed for his treatment of stereotypes and archetypes, being a very popular book in the United States. The novel was included in different lists of great works of world literature, created by important media such as the American magazine TIME, the French newspaper Le Monde and the British company BBC.