F. Scott Fitzgerald was educated at St. Paul Academy and at the Newman School in Hackensack, New Jersey. While attending Princeton University he wrote for the Princeton Tiger and Nassau Literary Magazine. He left Princeton without a degree, joined the army, and was stationed near Montgomery, Alabama, where he met Zelda Sayre. In 1920, they were married in New York City before moving to Westport, Connecticut. Their only child, Frances Scott Fitzgerald, was born in 1921. In the mid-1920’s the Fitzgeralds traveled extensively between the United States and Europe, meeting Ernest Hemingway in Paris in 1925. The decade of the 1930’s was a bleak one for the Fitzgeralds; Zelda had several emotional breakdowns and Scott sank into alcoholism. They lived variously in Montgomery and on the Turnbull estate outside Baltimore. Fitzgerald went to Hollywood for the second time in 1931. After that they lived for a time in Asheville, North Carolina, where Zelda was hospitalized and where Fitzgerald wrote the Crack-up essays for Esquire. In 1937, Fitzgerald met Sheila Graham while he was living in Hollywood and writing under contract to MGM. He began writing The Last Tycoon in 1939 and died, before it was completed, on December 21, 1940, at the age of forty-four.
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. His mother’s side of the family (the McQuillans) was what Fitzgerald referred to as “straight 1850 potato famine Irish,” but by the time of his maternal grandfather’s death at the age of forty-four, the McQuillan fortune, earned in the grocery business, was in excess of $300,000. Fitzgerald’s father was a poor but well-bred descendant of the old Maryland Scott and Key families. Always an ineffectual businessman, Edward Fitzgerald had met Mary McQuillan when he arrived in St. Paul to open a wicker furniture business, which shortly went out of business. In search of a job by which he could support the family, Edward Fitzgerald moved his...
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald is considered one of the three most important American authors (along with Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner) who wrote between the two world wars. On his father’s side he was a descendant of the Scotts and the Keys who produced Francis Scott Key, the distinguished lawyer who wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Fitzgerald’s father, Edward Fitzgerald, was unable to hold a steady job; his mother was the eccentric and powerful Mary McQuillan, whose father had left her a million-dollar grocery business and a substantial personal fortune.
Fitzgerald’s childhood was a pampered one—though somewhat unstable, owing to frequent moves—and included two years at the St. Paul Academy...
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, one of the most talented of American writers, was born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota. His father, Edward, was unsuccessful in a variety of enterprises, and the family moved numerous times until Fitzgerald’s mother inherited sufficient money for them to settle in one of the more exclusive neighborhoods of St. Paul. Even as a young boy, Fitzgerald was acutely aware that his mother, rather than his father, provided the financial foundation of the family. It was a situation—a wife’s inherited money—that was to recur frequently in his writing.
In 1911, Fitzgerald entered Newman School, a Catholic institution in Hackensack, New Jersey. It was there that he decided upon...
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Fitzgerald was an acute social observer and an incomparable stylist. His central concern was with the individual whose promise is destroyed by an uncaring or hostile world, a destruction made possible by some inherent flaw in an otherwise noble nature. Fitzgerald’s writings all have this viewpoint, which can best be described as romantic moralism.
Immensely popular with his first novel, highly successful with his short stories, and critically acclaimed for his masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald has come to be recognized as one of American literature’s premier authors and the creator of some of its most memorable and individual characters. Although his work is clearly a product of and a reflection of its time, Fitzgerald’s best efforts transcend that specific period to become universal.
Bruccoli’s work is the most comprehensive collection of Fitzgerald letters to date (including hundreds not previously published), but it is also the most revealing. For Matthew Bruccoli has organized the letters to give readers a glimpse into Fitzgerald’s life, in epistolary descriptions of his relationships, his travels, and his philosophy about writing. The letters detail the Jazz Age life that was the basis of the Fitzgerald myth from the 1920’s on, but they also reveal the other side of that glamorous expatriate life: his growing concern with his wife’s health (Zelda Fitzgerald was institutionalized for much of the 1930’s), his frantic attempts to raise money through his writings, his failed Hollywood career, his...
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