Rare and significant ALS, one page, 8 x 10.5, no date [circa 1925-1926]. Fitzgerald writes from Paris to literary agent and editor William C. Lengel regarding plans for a stage adaptation of the Great Gatsby. In full: "Thanks for your letter about Gatsby. Have just had a wire from Brady asking for dramatic rights and wired my agent asking him to see what Brady's plans are—all this before your letter came, as it went to Cannes & Homer Croy whom I've never met. As soon as I get any word I will let you know. Perhaps he has no one in mind for the dramatization & in that case it would much better [sic] if it were done by someone like you who already has some plan in his head. With many thanks." After signing, Fitzgerald adds a postscript and signs again with his initials: "Word has just come that Owen Davis is going to do it for Brady. Thanks many times for your interest. F. S. F." In fine condition, with a professionally repaired tear to the left margin.
Fitzgerald's most famous novel, widely regarded as one of the finest in the English language, was published in spring 1925 to a rather unremarkable reception. Still, with the public's ever-increasing appetite for entertainment, newly published fiction provided an instant source of material for the stage and screen. With its dramatic force and colorful characterizations, it was only a matter of time before Gatsby would attract attention in showbiz circles, and it first made the jump from page to stage in a semi-successful adaptation by dramatist Owen Davis that ran for 112 performances in 1926. Later that same year, Gatsby, as played by Warner Baxter, made his debut on the silver screen. Letters mentioning Gatsby occupy a singular niche at the pinnacle of Fitzgerald's autograph material, and, indeed, among literary autographs as a whole.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.