Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

Essay by jdamer28High School, 12th gradeB+, April 2006

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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896, During 1911-1913 he attended the Newman School, a Catholic prep school in New Jersey, and moved on to become a member of the Princeton Class of 1917. Fitzgerald went to New York City to work on his novel. After revision it was rejected a second time and not published. In july of 1919 he returned to St. Paul to rewrite his novel as This side of Paradise. It was finally accepted but editor Maxwell Prekins of Scribners in September. Set mainly at Princeton This Side of Paradise traces the career aspirations and love disappointments of Amory Blaine.

In the fall-winter of 1919 Fitzgerald commenced his career as a writer of stories for the mass-circulation magazines. Working through agent Harold Ober, Fitzgerald interrupted work on his novels to write popular fiction. The Saturday Evening Post became Fitzgerald's best story market.

His early commercial stories , "The Offshore Pirate" and "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." "May Day" and "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," were published in The Smart Set, which had a small circulation.

The publication of This Side of Paradise on March 26, 1920, made the twenty-four-year-old Fitzgerald famous almost overnight, and a week later he married Zelda Sayre in New York. They embarked on an extravagant life as young celebrities. Fitzgerald endeavored to earn a solid literary reputation, but his image distorted the proper assessment of his work.

After wild summer in Westport, Connecticut, the Fitzgeralds took an apartment in New York City; there he wrote his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, a naturalistic chronicle of the dissipation of Anthony and Gloria Patch. When Zelda Fitzgerald became pregnant they settled in St. Paul for the birth of their only child, Frances Scott (Scottie) Fitzgerald,