“About that ‘sentimental’ crack: thinking it over, I have an idea that what inspired that carelessly thrown-off judgment was the feeling that your ‘good’ characters were shadowy.
“On reflection, I think the feeling may have proceeded less from themselves than from the fact that they were set beside that flamboyant wench, Scarlett. There were good women all over the place in the South, of course. But Scarlett is a female to go along with Becky Sharp [in “Vanity Fair”], wholly vivid and convincing. Beside her everybody else in the book, including even Butler, seems almost an abstraction.
“I hope you don’t mind my saying it; I know how stupid the judgments of others on his creation sometimes seem to a writer. Indeed, I am often madder at the critics who are trying to be kind than at those obviously out to do me dirt.”