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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - 1925

by FITZGERALD, F. Scott

  • Used
  • Hardcover

Description

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1925. First. First edition, first state in first printing dustwrapper. Foxing to page edges and the first and last gatherings, mild browning to the endpapers but an especially bright and square, near fine copy, in near fine, slightly chipped, first printing dustwrapper with a little judicious professional repair. The folds have been internally strengthened, the chips have been stabilized, and several tears repaired, with retouching to the creases and rubbing. A very attractive copy, substantially intact and original, and with the colors of the jacket notably fresh (the blue frequently becomes age-toned). This copy is the correct first printing with "sick in tired" and all other issue points; the jacket is the first printing, with lowercase "j" in "jay Gatsby" on the back hand-corrected in ink. An excellent example of the famous dustwrapper, designed by Francis Cugat, which was so striking that Fitzgerald actually revised the novel before publication to incorporate elements of the artwork into the story. He wrote Scribner's in 1924, "For Christ's sake don't give anyone that jacket you're saving for me. I've written it into the book." The first printing jacket, which had to be corrected because of a typo (only one uncorrected example is known, in an institutional library), was left a little taller than the book itself. As a consequence almost all of the small number of examples that do survive have chips at the edges. Housed in an attractive, quarter morocco clamshell case with raised bands. Bruccoli A11.I.a, Connolly 100 48. .
Similar copies are shown below.

About this book

Written in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be one of the author’s greatest works. Set in New York City and Long Island during the Roaring Twenties, the focus of the story is (of course) its title character, Jay Gatsby, and his unswerving desire to be reunited with Daisy Buchanan, the love he lost five years earlier. However, Nick Carraway, who happens to be both Gatsby’s neighbor and Daisy’s cousin, narrates Gatsby's journey from poverty to wealth, into the arms of his beloved, and eventually to death.

The Great Gatsby is undoubtedly one of the greatest American literary documents of the 1920s, the decade for which Fitzgerald himself coined the term “Jazz Age.” However, in writing the book, Fitzgerald was in fact holding up a mirror to the society of which he was a part. In true Modernist fashion, The Great Gatsby addresses the social issues of the period — namely materialism and displaced spirituality — that ultimately led the decline of the era.

The novel’s initial sales situation was less than impressive; fewer than 25,000 copies were sold by Fitzgerald’s death in 1940. But The Great Gatsby gained great popularity during WWII as the critical mainstream began to embrace the author’s work. The Armed Services Editions circulated 150,000 copies to troops alone. Today, The Great Gatsby has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, sells an additional 500,000 copies annually, and is Scribner's most popular title. Ranked #2 on the Modern Library’s list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century, the novel is also listed on their Top 100 Novels as well as The Observer’s All-Time 100 Best Novels and Time Magazine’s 100 Best Modern Novels.

The Great Gatsby has resulted in a number of adaptations, including Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 major motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton.

First Edition Identification

Charles Scribner’s Sons first published The Great Gatsby in April of 1925. A highly valued collectible, first editions can be identified by a number of points of issue, including a typo on the back of the dust jacket that spells “jay Gatsby” with a lowercase “j,” over which a correction has been made (by hand) in ink or with a stamp. Other points specific to the first edition include “chatter” on page 60, line 16; “northern” on page 119, line 22; “sick in tired” on page 205, lines 9-10; and “Union Street Station” on page 211, lines 7-8.

The cover of the first edition of The Great Gatsby is among the most celebrated in American literature. Artist Francis Cugat’s design depicts disembodied eyes and a mouth over a blue skyline with images of naked women reflected in the irises. It has been said that Fitzgerald so loved the art (which was completed before the book), that he rewrote parts of the book to better incorporate it.

With its original dust jacket, the rare first edition of The Great Gatsby has sold for between $100,000 and $150,000. Not too shabby — considering that same book sold for just $2 in 1925.

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