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Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1901 - 1948)



April 13, 2004
New York, NY, US

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Autograph letter signed ("Zelda"), 4 pages (10 5/8 x 8 1/8 in.; 268 x 208 mm), [Paris, The American Hospital, envelope postmarked 2 July 1926], to Madeleine Boyd, wife of the critic Ernest Boyd, in New York; in pencil on two sheets of gray paper, fold creases; with stamped envelope envelope addressed by Zelda.


Jonathan Goodwin (sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, Part I, 29 March 1977, lot 117)


"Scott's writing an amazing good novel." A very rare Zelda-in-the-Twenties letter, written from the hospital where she just had her appendix removed, rambling and chatty, giving news of the Paris and Riviera scenes and telling of Scott's writing: "Scott and I have not been in Paris since Jan. until now... We had a wild week before I came here ? but Paris in June is too much a question of headwaiters to be pleasant. Personally, I have never believed that all people in livery are enigmatic ? nor do I believe that all American bartenders in France are great characters ? nor do I believe that all famous harlots know a lot about human nature... So I was very bored with our gala week and am longing for the splendour of our Louis XV drawing room in Juan-les-Pins... the generations never seem to change in the Ritz bar. I think a seat there is probably hereditary and no new people can come till their fathers die... We are having a divine time tanning our stomachs on the beach at Antibes. I swim all day and enjoy tremendously a vague nostalgia that comes from living in a perfect place and wishing there was somewhere to go... We are coming home in Nov. or Dec. ? neither Scott nor I quite know why [the expatriates did return in December, with Scott making his first trip to Hollywood in January]... Scott is writing an amazingly good novel [an abortive, early version of what became Tender Is the Night, 1934] which goes so slow it ought to be serialized in the Encyclopedia Britannica... Dorothy Parker is here showing her wounds ? and Dorothy Gish looking like the fancy radiator on a lesser-make car tho she is very attractive -- but we have not seen anybody interesting. Scott's last book [The Great Gatsby] has been translated by Victor Llona and is coming out in Oct. ? over here ? we won't be able to read the criticisms so it doesn't matter how it goes... give my love to Ernest and Lewey Collins is a bitch even if sick and everybody hates the [Louis] Bromfields and life is, after all, very complicated."

Later letters of Zelda Fitzgerald are occasionally seen, but early vintage letters like this one about herself and Scott are simply unobtainable: in fact, none have appeared since this last sold at auction (see provenance).

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