American author (1896-1940). Autograph letter signed „Ever Your Devoted Friend, Scott“ and 1 Autograph poem (unpublished). „Ellerslie“ Edgemoore, Delaware, Baltimore. Larger 8vo. 1 1/2 pp. The poem 8vo. 2pp.
$ 39,109 / 35.000 €
Remarkable pairing of an ALS and an unsigned handwritten poem: ALS signed “Ever your devoted friend, Scott,” three pages, 6 x 9.25, Hotel Rennert letterhead, no date but likely circa 1932. A letter to his friend Tom Lineaweaver, in part: “Had rather a run-in with your friend Davis—all my fault & yet unfortunate if it had any consequences. Leaving the Poes shortly after you, we went to a friend of his & from there called up Bryan Dancy. My idea was to drop in only, & on arrival, I called up the Rennert & asked them to send out a boy to drive my car.
Some smart alec at the party met the man & sent him back so much against my will I had to stay to dinner. I wanted to be home. Anyhow it seems that I said to the assembly at dinner that ‘I was living in a state of mild masturbation at the Rennert.’ It seemed to me an entirely innocuous remark. I’d said the same thing to Eleanor a few hours before and she didn’t collapse, but Massa Davis & Wife decided to be offended. Then also I was unwise as to mention the word virginity in conversation. I realized about then that I was being to them, offensive. I sent for my man to come & drive me home & this time he appeared. This morning I sent Mrs. Dancy flowers & know there’s no harm done there, but what version that flowery ass, Davis, will give you I don’t know. I know that whenever I’m nice to people I don’t like or respect I’m sooner or later rude to them as a sort of compensation. I had heard the story of the Portsmouth Priory once too often.”
Also includes an unpublished handwritten poem in pencil by Fitzgerald, unsigned, two pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 7, no date but likely written around the time of Eleanor and Tom Lineaweaver's marriage on June 28, 1920. The poem opens: “I remember,—years ago / When a deb. was desperate for a beaux, / She could phone to any Princeton Club / And get a dancing, if alcoholic sub.” The final couplet reads, “So now we're gathered here today / To celebrate the initial jump in the hay.” The letter is in very good condition, with a few partial separations to the horizontal folds of the letter, and a complete separation to top fold of third page; the poem is in fine condition, with light toning.
Fitzgerald lived at Baltimore’s Hotel Rennert from March 30-May 20, 1932, presumably dating the letter to this period. The recipient, Tom Lineaweaver, was Fitzgerald’s longtime friend and former Princeton classmate. In the humorous letter, Fitzgerald tells the story of his “offensive” behavior after leaving a party at the Poes—a reference to the grandsons of Edgar Allen Poe’s cousin, who attended Princeton as well. Fitzgerald was seemingly forced into company that he had little patience for, leading to a series of off-colored comments that shocked the guests. With the additional unpublished poem—which gives insight and depth to this friendship that spanned decades, as it was seemingly written for Tom and Eleanor's wedding on June 28, 1920—this is a remarkable collection from the highly sought-after American icon, boasting references to his attendance at riotous Jazz Age parties..