Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda : The Love Letters of F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

4.12 (1,179 ratings by Goodreads)
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Through his alcoholism and her mental illness, his career highs (and lows) and her institutional confinement, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's devotion to each other endured for more than twenty-two years. Now, for the first time, the story of the love of these two glamorous and hugely talented writers can be given in their own letters. Introduced by an extensive narrative of the Fitzgeralds' marriage, the 333 letters - three-quarters of them previously unpublished or out of print - have been edited by the noted Fitzgerald scholars, Jackson R. Bryer and Cathy W. Barks. They are illustrated throughout with a generous selection of familiar and unpublished photographs.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 30mm | 358.34g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Illustrations, facsims., ports.
  • 0747566011
  • 9780747566014
  • 36,882

About F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jackson R. Bryer is a professor at the University of Maryland. He has edited the Scott Fitzgerald-Maxwell Perkins correspondence and Selected Letters of Eugene O'Neill. Cathy W. Barks teaches American Literature at the University of Maryland
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Review Text

Drawing together selected letters and photographs between 1918 (when they first met at a country club dance) and 1940 (the year of his death) this collection details the passionate and often traumatic relationship between F Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Many of the letters have been published previously, but this is the first time they've been gathered together in one volume, which is enhanced by an introduction from the couple's granddaughter, Eleanor Lanahan. Their well-documented and often sensationalized troubles are revisited here in a much more sympathetic light, and the chronologically arranged correspondence allows us to experience the high-profile courtship and marriage from the viewpoint of the two central characters, who were as often in conflict with each other as they were besotted. In particular, the mental illness and alcoholism that plagued Zelda and Scott respectively are considered more in terms of the diseases they are, and not some kind of weakness or badness, an attitude that permeated many previous biographies of the couple, from which neither emerged particularly favourably. Another criticism - that he repeatedly used Zelda's words to enhance his own writing - is also considered, and the letters here contain examples of her delightful prose that would find their way into his own. Zelda and Scott's love informed much of what they wrote, and - especially in the early years of their relationship - they lived the 1920s high life that his writing captured so memorably, until the early joy faded and 'the fairytale ended' in 1930, the year of her first breakdown. Sometimes the parade of 'darling' and 'dearest' grates, leaving the reader with that awkward feeling often experienced when witnessing first-hand the gushings of an enamoured couple, but overall this is a warm and compassionate look at two people and their 'deep but tormented love'. (Kirkus UK)
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Rating details

1,179 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 40% (468)
4 37% (442)
3 19% (221)
2 3% (39)
1 1% (9)
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