"LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE VERY RICH": INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION OF FITZGERALD'S ALL THE SAD YOUNG MEN
FITZGERALD, F. Scott. All The Sad Young Men. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. Octavo, original green cloth, dust jacket likely supplied at a later date from another copy of the first edition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $46,000.
First edition, first issue, inscribed "Most Sincerely, F. Scott Fitzgerald, April 20th 1927, Wilmington, Delaware."
All the Sad Young Men "was Fitzgerald's strongest collection, with four major stories ('The Rich Boy,' 'Winter Dreams,' 'Absolution,' and 'The Sensible Thing') as well as five commercial stories… As was his custom, Fitzgerald polished the magazine texts of these stories. He was convinced that the book publication of stories affected his reputation, whereas the magazine appearances were ignored by the critics" (Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur, 272). In a long letter to his editor Maxwell Perkins, Fitzgerald offered his own suggestions for jacket notes for this collection: "`Show transition from his early exuberant stories of youth which created a new type of American girl and the later and more serious mood which produced The Great Gatsby and marked him as one of the half-dozen masters of English prose now writing in America… What other writer has shown such unexpected developments, such versatility, changes of pace,' etc., etc., etc. I think that, toned down as you see fit, is the general line" (Turnbull, The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 189-90). When the Fitzgeralds decided to move east after returning to Hollywood from Paris at the end of 1926, Perkins suggested the family look for a house to rent in Delaware. Fitzgerald signed an 18-month lease on a huge colonial-style house called Ellerslie on the west bank of the Delaware River on April 1, a few weeks before the date of this inscription. First issue, with unbattered type on pages 38, 90, and 248. With portion of rear panel of dust jacket (presumably the original dust jacket) tipped to the front pastedown; a dust jacket from another copy of the first edition has been supplied. Bruccoli notes that as the dust jacket was printed, "the lips of the woman on the front show progressive batter"; the lips on this dust jacket are battered, indicating that it came from later in the print run. Bruccoli A13.1.a.
Book very good with light wear, scarce dust jacket very good with light chipping to head and tail of spine and top edge of rear panel. Inscription and signature large and bold. A very desirable inscribed copy.