F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise
Originally shared by Ed Pearce
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s debut novel This Side of Paradise, was published on March 26, 1920.
Fitzgerald volunteered as a soldier during World War One but never saw active service in Europe. The war ended just before he was due to be sent overseas.
Fitzgerald was convinced that he would die in the war and he rapidly wrote a novel, The Romantic Egotist.
While at Camp Sheridan, Fitzgerald met the blonde, creamy-skinned Zelda Sayre (1900-1948), at a country club dance. The daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court Judge, in Fitzgerald’s words she was the „top girl,” of Montgomery, Alabama, youth society.
The pair were engaged in 1919 and Fitzgerald moved into an apartment at 200 Claremont Avenue in New York City to try to lay a foundation for his life with the high-living Zelda. Working at an advertising firm and writing short stories, Fitzgerald was unable to convince Zelda that he would be able to support her. She broke off the engagement.
Fitzgerald returned to his parents’ house in St. Paul to revise The Romantic Egotist. Recast as This Side of Paradise, it was accepted by Scribner’s in the fall of 1919, and Zelda and Scott resumed their engagement.
This Side of Paradise, was published on March 26, 1920, giving Fitzgerald sufficient money to marry Zelda. it became one of the most popular books of the year, defining the flapper generation.
F Scott Fitzgerald wrote four great novels and 150 short stories. His writing helped herald in the Cote D’Azur dossing around the beach life style which became so popular among the upper middle classes in the second half of last century.