A DESIRABLE FITZGERALD PRESENTATION COPY: "FROM PERCY BYSHE SHELLEY… WITH THE BLESSINGS OF F. SCOTT FITZGERALD"
FITZGERALD, F. Scott. This Side of Paradise. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920. Octavo, original green cloth recased with original endpapers and pastedowns retained. Housed in a custom chemise and half leather slipcase. $27,500.
First edition, eighth printing of Fitzgerald’s first novel—issued within five months of the first printing—inscribed by Fitzgerald on the front free endpaper: "From Percy Byshe [sic] Shelley to Mrs. Humphrey Ward with the blessings of F. Scott Fitzgerald."
The entire first printing of 3000 copies of Fitzgerald's first novel sold out quickly (ultimately requiring two more printings in April alone), making its author the new literary sensation. On March 30, 1920, Fitzgerald sent Zelda a telegram proposing that they should marry immediately: "Talked with John Palmer and Rosalind and we think best to get married Saturday noon we will be awfully nervous until it is over and would get no rest by waiting until Monday first edition of the book is sold out address Cottage until Thursday and Scribner's after that Love Scott." On April 3rd they were married at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.
Writing about the book in a brief statement prepared for an American Booksellers Association convention in May of that year, Fitzgerald's "Apology" claims: "I don't want to talk about myself because I'll admit I did that somewhat in this book. In fact, to write it took three months; to conceive it—three minutes; to collect the data in it—all my life… My whole theory of writing I can sum up in one sentence: An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward." Contrary to his claim, Fitzgerald began writing the novel in 1917, revising it several times until Scribner's accepted it for publication in 1919. Eight printing,
as stated on copyright page. Early printings of this novel (April 1920) are exceedingly difficult to obtain. Without extremely scarce original dust jacket. Bruccoli A5.1.a. Bruccoli & Clark I:131. Offsetting from Fitzgerald's inscription on front pastedown.
Mild toning to text block edges, text block expertly recased with expert restoration to original cloth.