New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934. First edition. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper with a full page inscription, For Harry Joe Brown - late of the 17th Infantry Brigade. Wounded in Hollywood 1920-1940. - from his fellow dough boy F Scott Fitzgerald Encino, 1939." The recipient Harry Joe Brown was a Hollywood producer, who Fitzgerald noted meeting in late 1939: "Somewhere around this time [September 1939] Harry Joe Brown called me over to Twentieth Century Fox on a Sonja Heine picture" (letter to the Berg-Allenberg Agency, 23 February 1940). Fitzgerald had been contracted as a writer by Metro Goldwyn Meyer Studios in the July of 1937, initially for six months. His contract was then extended for another year, but when this lapsed in December 1938 MGM did not renew it. Over the next two years, Fitzgerald freelanced for numerous studios on a number of films, including Everything Happens at Night for which Brown was an associate producer. An excellent near fine example in a very good first issue dust jacket with some fading and chips to the spine. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in a friend's copy of Tender Is the Night, "If you liked The Great Gatsby, for God's sake read this. Gatsby was a tour de force but this is a confession of faith." Set in the South of France in the decade after World War I, Tender Is the Night is the story of a brilliant and magnetic psychiatrist named Dick Diver; the bewitching, wealthy, and dangerously unstable mental patient, Nicole, who becomes his wife; and the beautiful, harrowing ten-year pas de deux they act out along the border between sanity and madness. Tender Is the Night is also the most intensely, even painfully, autobiographical of Fitzgerald's novels; it smolders with a dark, bitter vitality because it is so utterly true. This account of a caring man who disintegrates under the twin strains of his wife's derangement and a lifestyle that gnaws away at his sense of moral values offers an authorial cri de coeur, while Dick Diver's downward spiral into alcoholic dissolution is an eerie portent of Fitzgerald's own fate. F. Scott Fitzgerald literally put his soul into Tender Is the Night, and the novel's lack of commercial success upon its initial publication in 1934 shattered him. He would die six years later without having published another novel, and without knowing that Tender Is the Night would come to be seen as perhaps his masterpiece. In Mabel Dodge Luhan's words, it raised him to the heights of "a modern Orpheus." Named by Modern Library as one of the 100 greatest novels of the twentieth century. (Inventory #: 7340)
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