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Encyclopedia > Rhett Butler
Rhett Butler
First appearance Gone with the Wind
Created by Margaret Mitchell
Portrayed by Clark Gable (Gone with the Wind)
Timothy Dalton (Scarlett)
Information
Gender Male
Title Captain
Spouse(s) Scarlett O'Hara
Children Victoria Eugenia "Bonnie" Butler, Katie "Cat" Colum O'Hara
Relatives Rosemary Butler

Rhett Butler is the handsome, dashing hero of Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. For the film, see Gone with the Wind (film). ... For the Canadian politician, see Margaret Mitchell (Canadian politician); for the Scottish politician, see Margaret Mitchell (Scottish politician). ... William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an Academy Award-winning American film actor. ... Timothy Peter Dalton (born March 21, 1946[1]) is an English actor of stage and screen, best known for portraying James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989) and in his roles in Shakespearean related films and plays. ... Scarlett OHara (full name Katie Scarlett OHara Hamilton Kennedy Butler) of French-Irish ancestry is the protagonist in Margaret Mitchells 1936 novel, Gone with the Wind, and in the later film of the same name. ... For the film, see Gone with the Wind (film). ... For the Canadian politician, see Margaret Mitchell (Canadian politician); for the Scottish politician, see Margaret Mitchell (Scottish politician). ...


The novel introduces him as the problem-solving pragmatist who is sure that the South cannot win a protracted war with the North. His opinions, expressed in the parlor of a Southern gentleman's household, provoke the ire of many of his fellow Southerners and as a result, he is even challenged to a duel. Rhett gracefully takes a bow with the famous lines "I seem to have ruined everybody's brandy and cigars and dreams of victory and war." Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... In this map:  Union states prohibiting slavery  Union territories  Border states on the Union side which allowed slavery  Kansas, which entered and fought with the Union as a free state after the Bleeding Kansas crisis  The Confederacy  Confederate claimed and sometimes held territories During the American Civil War, the Union... For other uses, see Brandy (disambiguation). ...


In the beginning of the novel, we first meet Rhett at the barbecue at the Twelve Oaks Plantation, the home of Ashley and India Wilkes. The novel describes Rhett as "a visitor from Charleston;" a black sheep, he was kicked out of West Point and he is not accepted by any family with repute in the whole of Charleston, and perhaps all of South Carolina. When Scarlett O'Hara, who was at the Twelve Oaks party where Rhett was introduced, hears of this, she is shocked and intrigued at the same time. Rhett's enthrallment with Scarlett begins when he overhears her declaration of love for Ashley in the library while the rest of the "proper" girls are taking a nap in the late afternoon to prepare for the dance that would take place later that evening. He recognizes that she's willful and spirited, and also that they're alike in many ways, including their disgust with the impending, and later ongoing, war with the Yankees. Ashley Wilkes is a fictional character in the Margaret Mitchells 1936 novel Gone with the Wind and the later film of the same name. ... India Wilkes is the sister of Ashley Wilkes and the rival of Scarlett OHara in the novel and film Gone with the Wind. ... Nickname: Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ... Black sheep is a derogatory colloquialism in the English language meaning an outsider or one who is different in a way which others disapprove of. ... “USMA” redirects here. ... Scarlett OHara (full name Katie Scarlett OHara Hamilton Kennedy Butler) of French-Irish ancestry is the protagonist in Margaret Mitchells 1936 novel, Gone with the Wind, and in the later film of the same name. ...


They meet again when Scarlett has already lost her first husband, Charles Hamilton, while she's staying with Charles' sister Melanie and their Aunt Pittypat in Atlanta during the war. Rhett, the dashing blockade runner, shocks the entire charity ball that was being thrown to raise money for the confederate troops, by asking to dance with Scarlett, who is now a widow, something that was heresy in the Antebellum South. Antebellum is a Latin word meaning before war(ante means before and bellum is war). ...


Rhett seemingly ruins Scarlett's reputation after this very public display of frivolity and Scarlett's father, Gerald O'Hara, comes to speak to Rhett and to take Scarlett back to Tara. However, Rhett, blackguard that he is, gets Gerald intoxicated and he and Rhett come to terms, so to speak. Gerald returns to Tara and Scarlett remains in Atlanta, along with her young son.


When Scarlett flees Atlanta, Rhett joins the Confederate soldiers for their one last stand against General Sherman. Scarlett couldn't understand why Rhett chose to ally himself at the moment when the Confederate cause had failed. Portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman by Mathew Brady William Tecumseh Sherman (February 8, 1820 – February 14, 1891) was an American soldier, businessman, and author. ...


After a great many months, Scarlett returns to Atlanta, this time to solicit money from Rhett to save Tara from being stolen out from under her, only to learn from Aunt Pitty that he was in military jail, imprisoned by the Yankees for stealing the Confederate gold. Scarlett comes waltzing in, supposedly horrified that Rhett's life was in danger, all the while maneuvering him to give her money for the plantation. When Rhett sees through her ploy, he laughs in her face, in which case Scarlett flees, only to be confronted by Belle, a prostitute who enjoyed keeping company with Rhett. Disgusted with how low she's sunk, she's on her way back to Aunt Pittypat's when she meets Frank Kennedy, her sister Sue Ellen's beau. Learning that Frank has done very well for himself, she plies him with affection and finally secures a marriage proposal, to which she accepts, thereby securing Tara's future indefinitely.


Two weeks later, Scarlett is shocked when she sees Rhett Butler while she's running Frank's store, free from the Yankees and amused that she has rushed into yet another marriage with a man that she doesn't love, much less the fact that she stole him right out from under her sister's nose.


After Frank Kennedy is killed during a Ku Klux Klan raid on the shanty town after Scarlett is attacked, Rhett saves the lives of Ashley Wilkes and Dr. Meade by alibiing them to the Yankee captain, a man with whom Rhett has played cards on several occasions. Members of the second Ku Klux Klan at a rally during the 1920s. ...


While Scarlett is torn with guilt of causing the death of her second husband, Rhett appears and offers a marriage proposal, promising to give her everything. Scarlett accepts for the money while Rhett secretly hopes that Scarlett will eventually return the love he's had since the day he saw her at Twelve Oaks. Her continuing affection for Ashley Wilkes becomes a problem for the couple, however. When their daughter, Bonnie, falls off a pony and dies, the tragedy causes a rift between the two which is impossible to bridge. Rhett eventually leaves because he knows he has to get away from Scarlett. Her confession of love is something that Rhett seems to have expected from the moment he first saw her breathless face when she rushes to him. He knows that Scarlett could never be happy with Ashley and when she discovers that, he does not want to be around when she throws her obsession onto him. When he finally gets Scarlett's love, he is not happy and leaves with his famous Parthian shot that has since been immortalized: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." In the book, an entire paragraph separates the word "Frankly" from "My dear, I don't give a damn." Look up obsession in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Parthian shot (or Parthian shaft) was a tactic employed by ancient Persian horse archers. ...


In the course of the novel, Rhett becomes increasingly enamored with Scarlett's sheer will to survive in the chaos surrounding the war. // For the racing driver, see Will Power. ...


Like Thomas Sutpen from Absalom, Absalom!, Rhett decides to join in the Southern cause, but unlike his fellow Confederate, Ashley Wilkes, Rhett is not spiritually paralyzed by the South's loss. Thomas Sutpen is the protagonist of William Faulkners 1936 novel Absalom, Absalom!. Sutpen arrives in Faulkners imaginary Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi in the 1830s and established a 100 square mile (260 km²) plantation, Sutpens Hundred, in an attempt to create his own personal dynasty. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion...


In a sequel, Scarlett, written by Alexandra Ripley, Scarlett finally succeeds in getting Rhett back. Scarlett is a novel written in 1991 by Alexandra Ripley as a sequel to Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind. ... Alexandra Ripley, née Braid (January 8, 1934 - January 10, 2004) was a U.S. writer best known as the author of Scarlett (1991), the sequel to Gone With the Wind. ...

Contents

Searching for Rhett

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. Photo: Howard Frank Archives
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In the 1939 film version of Gone with the Wind, for the role of Rhett Butler, Clark Gable was an almost immediate favorite for both the public and producer David O. Selznick (except for Gable himself). But as Selznick had no male stars under long-term contract, he needed to go through the process of negotiating to borrow an actor from another studio. Gary Cooper was thus Selznick's first choice, because Cooper's contract with Samuel Goldwyn involved a common distribution company, United Artists, with which Selznick had an eight-picture deal. However, Goldwyn remained noncommittal in negotiations.[1] Warner Bros. offered a package of Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland for the lead roles in return for the distribution rights. When Gary Cooper turned down the role for Rhett Butler, he was passionately against it. He is quoted saying, "Gone With The Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his nose, not Gary Cooper".[2][3] But by then Selznick was determined to get Clark Gable, and eventually found a way to borrow him from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Selznick's father-in-law, MGM chief Louis B. Mayer, offered in May 1938 to fund half of the movie's budget in return for a powerful package: 50% of the profits would go to MGM, the movie's distribution would be credited to MGM's parent company, Loew's, Inc., and Loew's would receive 15 percent of the movie's gross income. Selznick accepted this offer in August, and Gable was cast. But the arrangement to release through MGM meant delaying the start of production until Selznick International completed its eight-picture contract with United Artists. Gable was reluctant to play the role. At the time, he was wary of potentially disappointing a public who had decided no one else could play the part. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an Academy Award-winning American film actor. ... David O. Selznick David Oliver Selznick (May 10, 1902–June 22, 1965), was one of the icon Hollywood producers of the Golden Age. ... Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was a two-time Academy Award-winning American film actor of English heritage. ... Samuel Goldwyn (July 1882 (some sources say 17 August 1882, others 1879 [1]) – 31 January 1974) was an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning producer, also a well-known Hollywood motion picture producer and founding contributor of several motion picture studios. ... This article is about the film studio. ... Warner Bros. ... For the singer, see Betty Davis, for the meteorologist, see Betty Davis (meteorologist). ... Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn (June 20, 1909 – October 14, 1959) was an Australian film actor, most famous for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his flamboyant lifestyle. ... Olivia Mary de Havilland (born July 1, 1916) is a two-time Academy Award winning actress in American motion pictures and is the last surviving principal cast member from Gone with the Wind. ... For alternate meanings of MGM, see MGM (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Loews Theatres, founded in 1904 by Marcus Loew, is the oldest theatre chain still operating in North America today. ... == Is the amount of a companys revenue after deducting cost of goods sold. ...


Adaptations

In the 1939 film adaptation, Rhett was played by Clark Gable. For the film, see Gone with the Wind (film). ... William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an Academy Award-winning American film actor. ...


In the Scarlett TV mini-series produced in 1994 (based on the above sequel novel), Rhett was played by Timothy Dalton. Scarlett is a novel written in 1991 by Alexandra Ripley as a sequel to Margaret Mitchells Gone with the Wind. ... A miniseries, in a serial storytelling medium, is a production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Timothy Peter Dalton (born March 21, 1946[1]) is an English actor of stage and screen, best known for portraying James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989) and in his roles in Shakespearean related films and plays. ...


Also, in the musical production by Takarazuka Revue, Rhett had been played by several top stars of the group, including Yuki Amami (currently a film/TV actress), Yu Todoroki (currently one of the directors of the group) and Youka Wao (former leading male role of the Cosmo Troup that retired from the group in July 2006). This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Yuki Amami (天海祐希 Amami Yūki, born August 8, 1967 in Ueno, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese actress. ... Yu Todoroki Yu Todoroki is a current member of Takarazuka Revue, where she play Otokoyaku. ... Youka Wao. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Historic Basis

In 1989 Dr. E. Lee Spence, an internationally known shipwreck expert, archaeologist and historian, from Charleston, South Carolina, announced that he had discovered the true identity of Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind after finding and salvaging the wreck of the richly laden blockade runner Georgiana. Dr. Spence's archaeological salvage crews collectively recovered over 2,000,000 individual artefacts from the wrecked steamer. Although internationally known as a pioneer in underwater archaeology and an expert on shipwrecks and sunken treasure, Dr. Spence is also a published author of non-fiction, reference books; a magazine editor (Diving World, Atlantic Coastal Diver, Treasure, Treasure Diver, and Treasure Quest), and publisher of both books and magazines... Georgiana is a town located in Butler County, Alabama, USA. As of the 2000 census, the population of the town is 1,737. ...


In his book, Treasures of the Confederate Coast: The "Real Rhett Butler" and Other Revelations, Dr. Spence reveals what the editors of Life magazine called overwhelming evidence that shipping and banking magnate George Trenholm was the historical basis for Margaret Mitchell's romantic sea captain in her Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Spence built a case that Mitchell had falsely claimed Rhett was pure fiction and Spence's revelations made international headlines. This article belongs in one or more categories. ...


According to Dr. Spence's research, Trenholm had been on the verge of bankruptcy at the outbreak of hostilities, yet by the end of the Civil War, Trenholm controlled over sixty large steamers and numerous sailing ships. His amazingly successful blockade-running ventures had earned him today's equivalent of well over $1 billion in gold, making him both fabulously wealthy and enormously powerful. Trenholm's ships sailed out of the ports of Charleston, South Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and New York City.


Mitchell wrote that of Atlanta believed Rhett had made off with the gold of the Confederate Treasury. An impossible feat, if Rhett was just the captain of a ship. However, unlike Rhett, Trenholm wasn't. By the end of the Civil War, Trenholm was not only the South's most successful blockade runner, he was Treasurer of the Confederacy. When the government gold and the jewels entrusted to the Treasury by banks and private citizens disappeared, many believed Trenholm had stolen it.


After the Civil War, both men were arrested and threatened with execution. Both had much younger women visit them in jail and both men tried to comfort them as the women shed tears over the man's proposed fate. Both women were from good families and were widows of Confederate officers. Each had reputations for being "fast" but were still received in society. In fact, when Trenholm's lady friend was introduced to the famed novelist Lord Thackeray at a party he insulted her by saying that he had been looking forward to meeting her because he had heard she was the "fastest" lady received in society. She returned the insult by saying that they had both been misinformed because she had been told he was a "gentleman."


See George Alfred Trenholm for a more detailed account of the ties between George Trenholm and Rhett Butler. George Alfred Trenholm (February 25, 1807 – December 9, 1876) was a prominent politician in the Confederate States of America. ...


Rhett

The Rhett family was, in fact, one of the great aristocratic families of Charleston, with several ancestors playing part in the very founding days of the city (whereas a number of other such families, e.g. the Ansons, the Bennetts, and the Lucases, arrived slightly later in the colony's history). The Rhetts are still prominent today.


Real-life Rhett Butlers

Likely due in large part to the popularity of Gone with the Wind, there are nearly 6000 people named Rhett in the United States, according to the United States Bureau of the Census. Real Rhett Butlers range from an acoustic guitarist in Texas to Rhett Ayers Butler, founder of mongabay.com, an environmental science web site, to a 2006 World Series of Poker final table poker millionaire. The 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) began on June 25, 2006 with satellite events, with regular play commencing on June 26 with the annual Casino Employee event, and the Tournament of Champions held on June 28 and 29. ... For the domestic fireplace tool, see fireplace poker. ...


Rhett Butler is also a Senior Account Executive for Intelligent Decisions, Inc.


A 22-year-old soldier, Corporal Rhett A. Butler, from Fort Worth, was killed when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Iraq in July, 2007.


Popular Culture

Rhett the Boston Terrier is also the name of Boston University's mascot. He is so named because the school's colors are white and scarlet, and as the BU website states, "No one loves Scarlett more than Rhett." Rhett is the official mascot of the Boston University Terriers and has been the BU mascot since 1922. ... For the unrelated Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, see Boston College. ...


References

  1. ^ Selznick, David O. (2000). Memo from David O. Selznick. New York: Modern Library, 172-173. ISBN 0-375-75531-4. 
  2. ^ GoneMovie -> Biography Gary Cooper
  3. ^ Paul Donnelley (June 1, 2003). Fade To Black: A Book Of Movie Obituaries, 2nd Edition. Omnibus Press.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Rhett Butler (2076 words)
Scarlett cannot comprehend Rhett's sudden decision to fight, which underscores her total rejection of the Southern chivalric ideal.
It was so good to have a man beside her, to lean close to him and feel the hard swell of his arm and know that he stood between her and unnamable terrors, even though he merely sat there and stared.
Finally Rhett turned the horse at right angles and after a while they were on a wider, smoother road.
RNmen - Rhett Butler (925 words)
Although Rhett Butler's parents were divorced when he was still a baby, he must have inherited the carpentry genes from his father who left Bendix Corporation to start his own woodworking business.
Rhett Butler was 40 years old when he decided to go to nursing school, but he proved his penchant for a job well done long before beginning his nursing career.
Rhett Butler was once actually advised against becoming a nurse by a doctor who portrayed nurses to him as nothing more than glorified bed pan pushers, but media coverage about the nursing shortage got Butler's attention.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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