An Amer­i­can dream

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzger­ald, 1925

Homes and Antiques Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

Has there ever been a more haunt­ing book cover than this? F Scott Fitzger­ald’s Jazz Age tale of deca­dence, glam­our and emo­tional heartache was the au­thor’s third novel, fol­low­ing This Side of Par­adise and The Beau­ti­ful and Damned. The first edi­tion was pub­lished in April 1925 by Charles Scrib­ner’s Sons of New York and fea­tured an evoca­tive dust-jacket de­sign by artist Fran­cis Cu­gat, now held to be one of the great­est dust-jacket de­signs in the his­tory of 20th- cen­tury Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture. Within the sur­real im­age of dis­em­bod­ied eyes and mouth over a Coney Is­land scene, two re­clin­ing naked women are re­flected in the irises. Though over 18,000 copies of this book were printed in the first edi­tion, find­ing one still paired with its dust jacket is rare. Hence the in­cred­i­ble price paid – £62,000 – when this ex­am­ple came up for sale at Dreweatts & Blooms­bury in 2012 as part of the col­lec­tion of film and the­atre critic Clive Hirschhorn.

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