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The Romantic Egoists: A Pictorial Autobiography from the Scrapbooks and Albums of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald [Paperback]

Matthew J. Bruccoli , Scottie Fitzgerald Smith , Joan P. Kerr

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Book Description

31 Oct 2003
This pictorial autobiography of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald documents two lives that have become legendary. The book draws almost entirely from the scrapbooks and photograph albums that the Fitzgeralds scrupulously kept as their personal record and provides a wealth of illustrative material not previously available. The book offers: Fitzgerald's thoughts about his early loves in St Paul, Minnesota; a photograph of the country club in Montgomery, Alabama, where the two met; reviews of "This Side of Paradise"; poems to the couple from Ring Lardner; snapshots of their trips abroad; Fitzgerald's careful accounting of his earnings; a photograph of the house on Long Island where "The Great Gatsby" was conceived; postcards with Fitzgerald's drawings for his daughter. These rare photographs and memorabilia combine into a narrative augmented by selections from Scott's and Zelda's own writings, conveying the spirit of particuular moments in their lives.

Frequently Bought Together

The Romantic Egoists: A Pictorial Autobiography from the Scrapbooks and Albums of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald + Dreams of Youth: The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald + Zelda: A Biography (P.S.)
Price For All Three: 42.50

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (31 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570035296
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570035296
  • Product Dimensions: 26.6 x 23 x 1.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 573,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Birth of Edward Fitzgerald on a farm named "Glenmary" near Rockville in Montgomery County, Maryland. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Book for F. Scott Fitzgerald Enthusiasts!! 2 May 2006
By Fitzgerald Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, this book is an absolute must-have! While I own just about everything that is written by or about Fitzgerald, this is perhaps my favorite book to peruse. It is compiled just like a personal scrapbook and is replete with photos of the Fitzgeralds as well as articles (by and about Fitzgerald)written in the 20s and 30s. Much of this content you will not find elsewhere, at least not in such abundance. Bruccoli, America's leading Fitzgerald scholar (as well as Fitz's own daughter, Scotty) did a spectacular job of putting this together. The scrapbook format gives the book an intimate nature and the set up is extremely attractive. Best of all, at just around $20, it is an absolute steal for the price! If you love Fitzgerald, don't go without this collection! It would make a splendid addition to any high school classroom that teaches Fitzgerald or any personal library that celebrates true literary classics.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something marvelously and tragically American 10 July 2012
By R. M. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Romantic Egoist" was a provisional title for F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, ultimately published as "This Side of Paradise". For this book an "s" was appended, thereby adding Zelda to Scott and making a very apt title for this collection of photographs, letters, newspaper notices, book reviews, and ephemera from the lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the First Couple of the Jazz Age/Roaring Twenties. Most of the contents of THE ROMANTIC EGOISTS come from seven scrapbooks and five photograph albums of the Fitzgerald family. They are arranged chronologically, from the "Welcome, Little Stranger" page of Scott's baby book (1896) to a newspaper article announcing Zelda's death in a hospital fire (1948).

The Fitzgeralds' daughter, Scottie, had a major role in the compilation and preparation of this book, which originally was published in 1974. It was re-issued in this paperback edition in 2003.

For those who already are familiar with the lives of Scott and Zelda and their place in American cultural history, this is an interesting, perhaps even fascinating, book. But it does not make for a particularly good introduction to the Fitzgeralds. (For that, I recommend "Scott Fitzgerald", by Andrew Turnbull.) Like most family scrapbooks or photo albums (have they now gone the way of the rotary dial telephone?), it is a hodgepodge, with only a faint narrative story-line. Moreover, the layout is too chaotic and the quality of many of the reproductions ranges from middling to poor.

But, again, there is plenty to attract and reward the attention of the Fitzgerald enthusiast. For example, a week before he and Zelda were married Scott wrote a friend: "Next time you're in New York I want you to meet Zelda because she's very beautiful and very wise and very brave as you can imagine--but she's a perfect baby and a more irresponsible pair than we'll be will be hard to imagine." A self-fulfilling prophesy?

One of the co-editors, Matthew J. Bruccoli, a prominent Fitzgerald authority, contributes an epilogue of sorts for this 2003 edition, in which he discusses the astonishing "Fitzgerald revival", which he claims is "unequaled in American literature in terms of critical, scholarly, and popular response." As a measure of that revival, consider that after Fitzgerald died in 1940, the librarian at Princeton declined to purchase Fitzgerald's papers for $3,750, "remarking that Princeton had no obligation to squander funds to support the indigent widow of a Midwestern hack who was lucky enough to have attended Princeton, unfortunately for Princeton." Ten years later, Fitzgerald's daughter Scottie nonetheless donated the Fitzgerald archive to Princeton. It is now "the most actively used manuscript collection in the library."

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald personify something marvelously and tragically American. This book helps show why that is the case.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning collection of Fitzgerald ephemera 10 Nov 2006
By Christopher D. Bevard - Published on Amazon.com
My girlfriend, a fellow Fitz enthusiast, bought me this for my birthday and it ranks among the best gifts I've ever received. This is an amazing and exhaustively comprehensive scrapbook of the lives of the Fitzgeralds. If you're a fan and come away from this without wanting to get your hands on every single thing those two touched...there's something very, very wrong with you. ;) Beautiful book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So amazing! 16 Jan 2008
By amzical - Published on Amazon.com
I am a huge fan of both F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald so it was great to get this glimpse into their personal lives. Because their daughter was involved with this book, that gives it even more authenticity and it's like we're being given permission by Scottie herself to look at her family's scrapbooks. A very surreal experience!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are a Fitzgerald, or Scott - Zelda aficionado, you will love this 7 Nov 2009
By B. Grandon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If like me you can't get enough of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, their tumultuous and tragic story, and a snapshot of what I consider one of the most fascinating times in history for culture and the arts, the early twentieth century up to World War II, this book is a must-have.

It's mostly pictures, clippings, Zelda's art, wires and correspondence, and other personal memorabilia, but a wonderful companion after you read some of his work, or any of their biographies.
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