Gone With the Wind will now come with a trigger warning for those affected by descriptions of 19th century slavery in the Deep South.
The Daily Telegraph in the UK reports that publisher Pan Macmillan has decided readers could find depictions of the era “hurtful or indeed harmful,” and is adding a warning to new editions of Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel – published in 1936 and brought to the screen in 1939 starring Vivien Leigh and Clarke Gable as southern belle Scarlett O’Hara and her husband Rhett Butler.
In contract with recent issues of Agatha Christie works – which have been edited to remove content considered objectionable in 2023 – Mitchell’s copy has not been altered, but the warning gives notice of “shocking elements” and “the romanticization of a shocking era in our history.”
It adds: ‘The novel includes the representation of unacceptable practices, racist and stereotypical depictions and troubling themes, characterisation, language and imagery.”
The new editions of the novel will also include a foreword by historical fiction writer Philippa Gregory, explaining the “white supremacist” aspects of the story.
The Telegraph reports the publisher asked Gregory, a white writer, to provide the essay, “in order to avoid inflicting emotional labour on a minority writer.”