F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Novelist of manners F. Scott Fitzgerald and social satirist Sinclair Lewis were the writers of the 1920s generation who came closest to being Edith Wharton's literary heirs. Fitzgerald and Wharton first met at Scribner's in New York, and in 1923 Fitzgerald wrote the dialogue for the film version of Wharton's The Glimpses of the Moon. When The Great Gatsby came out in 1925, he sent her an inscribed copy, to which she replied with an appreciative letter that showed she had read his works with care and understanding. In the postscript she invited him to tea at Saint-Brice. Having stopped along the way to fortify himself, Fitzgerald was not entirely sober when he arrived, and to cover his social insecurity, he resorted to bravado, announcing that he and his wife had spent a night in a Paris bordello. In her best grande-dame manner, Mrs. Wharton coolly responded, "Yes, and then what?" In her diary for that day, her only comment on the visit was "(awful)."

F. Scott Fitzgerald 1896-1940
David Silvette (born 1909)
Oil on canvas, 1935
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C.

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