ALS signed “Scott Fitz,” two pages, 8.5 x 11, Grove Park Inn letterhead, no date but circa July 1935. Letter to artist Don Swann, in full: "If I seemed unappreciative of the etching of Tudor Hall it was because I was in a somewhat distraught mood—I'm delighted with it & very proud to own it. The reason I didn't want the one of Hampton was because the Pleasance Ridgely from whom I am descended, outdated the present mansion by a generation & I thought it would be pretentious of me to hang it for that reason. But direct ancestors did live in Tudor Hall so you can imagine the pleasure it gives me. (What do copies sell for by the way?) I was a little disturbed by Don Junior—he is a fine man, and I'm sorry he has such sharp edges & I hope that girl isn't putting him through any special hells." In fine condition, with small pieces of mounting tape at the top edges.
Fitzgerald spent time at the Grove Park Inn, situated in Asheville, North Carolina, during the summers of 1935 and 1936, recuperating from ill health in the clean mountain air. He rented two rooms at a time—one for sleeping and one for writing—opting for basic accommodations that overlooked the main entrance so that he could observe the comings and goings of beautiful women. Fitzgerald had previously written a foreword for Don Swann's book of etchings, Colonial and Historic Homes of Maryland, which included an image of Tudor Hall in Leonardtown. In the foreword, he said 'there must be hundreds and hundreds of families in such an old state whose ancestral memories are richer and fuller than mine,' but that he considered himself 'a native of the Maryland Free State through ancestry and adoption,' mentioning names of family legends such as 'Caleb Godwin of Hockley-in-ye-Hole, or Philip Key of Tudor Hall, or Pleasance Ridgely.' To underscore his association with the state, he signed off on the piece with his full name—shared with the Maryland poet of 'Star Spangled Banner' fame—'Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald.' A desirable and revealing letter by the esteemed author.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.