"With best wishes of a fellow Celt": First Edition of Tender Is the Night; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender Is The Night. A Romance. Decorations by Edward Shenton.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott.$30,000.00
Item Number: 87567
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934.
First edition of the work which Fitzgerald considered to be his finest. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper “For Lillian Abercrombie with best wishes of a fellow Celt F. Scott Fitzgerald.” In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell and chemise 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. It was basis for the 1962 film directed by Henry King starring Jennifer Jones and Jason Robards. The soundtrack featured a song, also called Tender Is the Night, by Sammy Fain (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics), which was nominated for the 1962 Academy Award for Best Song. Robards won the 1962 NBR Award for his performances in Tender Is the Night and Long Day's Journey Into Night.