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Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
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Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,052 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Through his alcoholism and her mental illness, his career highs (and lows) and her institutional confinement, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's devotion to each other endured for more than twenty-two years. This book presents a collection of correspondence between Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
Paperback, 431 pages
Published 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 1985)
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Susan
Jan 26, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
I have long loved F. Scott Fitzgerald. In my opinion, he may have been the greatest American author of the 20th century, as far as his prose is concerned. I never really admired his subject matter, however. It seemed self absorbed, and rather menial to me. I became fascinated with Fitzgerald, the person, when I was in college, when I read his letters, full of that same self absorption but infused with passion. Reading this rather new collection of letters, for me, was just a continuation of my s ...more
Winter Sophia Rose
Jul 11, 2016 Winter Sophia Rose rated it it was amazing
Informative, Fun & Beautiful! An Amazing Read! I Loved It!
Marck Rimorin
May 29, 2015 Marck Rimorin rated it it was amazing
Most everyone knows the love story of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, but this book of letters between the two - from courtship to togetherness to the breakdown to their final years - makes the timeless story even more poignant.

The book is very heartbreaking, in the positive sense of the word. The letters are written in a very ornate way (maybe over-the-top cheesy/bitter/sad at times) but it reminds us why the Scott and Zelda story is that darn good. Nothing could have survived that life and that
...more
death
Aug 29, 2012 death rated it it was amazing
If you haven't fallen in love with Zelda after reading this I'm not sure what you're doing with your life.
This was beautiful and haunting and easily one of the best things I've ever read.
Kirk
Dec 07, 2007 Kirk rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scott and Zelda fanatics
This is the essential letters collection for the Fitzgerald's marriage. It is also provides the most balanced biography of the couple you will find. It neither portrays Zelda as a ditz (as Mizener and Turnbull did), nor does it try to redress the criticism (as Milford and other Zelda biographers do). Perhaps the most illuminating thing is how beautiful the correspondence was: always aware of how they mythologized themselves, S&Z knew they were writing for a future public, and their ornate, o ...more
Tawni
Sep 22, 2013 Tawni rated it it was amazing
There are many misconceptions about the relationship between Scott and Zelda and this book should lay them to rest.

It shows that throughout their relationship the deep underlying constant tone is love, compassion and support for each other. The letters let you watch them grow as people and as a couple through their constant struggles.

Reading them is a very intimate experience and I would suggest doing so without distractions as if they were sent to you personally. They are absolutely beautiful
...more
Rebecca
Nov 27, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
There is a blurb from Independent on Sunday on the back of my copy which sums up this book quite well: "Scott and Zelda's letters make it clear that both of them knew they had wasted their youth, beauty and early success. And both of them understood that they were bound together". They really do, the letters.

There is one bulk of letters from before the marriage of this famous couple, but the great bulk is from after Zelda's breakdown in 1930 when the couple for long periods were not living toget
...more
Katy
Mar 13, 2016 Katy rated it it was amazing
I have long been a fan of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and this collection speaks for itself in terms of their characters. It defies the manipulation of biography and presents the reader with their pure, unfiltered personalities. It is shaped only by small chunks of information provided for context.

Despite the things that can be argued against them, I think this collection clearly expresses why Scott and Zelda were people who should command a great amount of respect, even from today's reader: S
...more
Brian Neumann
Mar 18, 2015 Brian Neumann rated it it was amazing
These aren't love letters, per se. They're the letters F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald wrote to each other in their 20 years together--many of them about love, but many more about their daily struggles and fears and aspirations. Editor Jackson Bryer beautifully brings the Fitzgeralds to life as people--exploring Zelda's schizophrenia and Scott's alcoholism without reducing their entire lives to them. The letters themselves are powerful and haunting, filled with passion, bitterness, nostalgia, disi ...more
Aubrey
Feb 10, 2013 Aubrey rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful collection of letters, aided by helpful contextual notes from the editors. The book does a lot to challenge what I think has become an unfortunately pervasive misconception - that Scott drove Zelda to madness and belittled her creative talents. Through their own words to each other, rather than through the lenses of Hollywood & sensationalism, you see a tragic pair, each struggling with their own demons but surviving (for as long as they can) through the continued support ...more
rachael gibson
May 29, 2010 rachael gibson rated it it was amazing
As a lifelong fan of Fitzgerald, flappers and the 1920s in general, I've read pretty much everything Scott and Zelda wrote and am really interested in their personal history too.

I thought this book was fantastic; really well edited and well interspersed with biographical notes. Of course we all know the tragic Fitzgerald story but reading it from the inside, as it were, sheds a completely different light on things and forces you to rethink opinions on these two tragic characters who lived so pub
...more
Anne
May 22, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it
Great collection of letters. I've been a big Scott and Zelda fan since high school, and though I'd read their biographies and novels/stories, I'd never before read their letters. I'm so glad I did. Their letters made them come fully to life, and I feel like I have a better understanding of who they were as mere mortals. Most of the letters come from Zelda, and trace her transformation from a coy debutante to a mature, reflective woman struggling with mental illness and lack of freedom and mobili ...more
Sarah
Dec 22, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge F.Scott fan, but after reading this book, I am equally a Zelda follower as well. In fact, reading through these letters, I came to find that I didn't like F.Scott the man so much, the writer, yes, the man, no. Zelda had an enormous influence over Fitzgerald and served not only as his muse, but his editor, creative director and support group all in one. Her story is a tragic one and a lot of his letters didn't survive, so the perspective of this book can be a bit skewed. Zelda was a be ...more
Flurry
May 29, 2014 Flurry rated it really liked it
this is so terribly poignant it made me tear up in the train. The letters chart the very beginning of their courtship when Zelda was 18, full of youth and optimism, right to the end when their lives fell apart and they struggled to survive. Yet, the overflowing love from their letters portray a couple whose affections did survive their hardships. It's just so tragic that their lives were short though immensely explosive and influential. The end that describes Zelda's death, their combined graves ...more
Jess
May 13, 2013 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-booklist
I loved this. It was informative, endearing and ultimately heartbreaking. I am truly fascinated with the correspondences that occurred before phones were in every home or a cellphone in every pocket. It amazed me how through it all, Scott never stopped financially taking care of Zelda. I realize that they never formally ended their marriage but still, he did so much for her, even when they were apart for so long. You could see in some of Zelda's letters how her illness was changing her but I cou ...more
Barbara
Jul 30, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1920-s
I thought this was a very illlumating read. It is primarily only the letters of Scott and Zelda to each other, with some commentary and context thrown in by the authors. They had a sincere, loving, and evolving relationship. The romance of their youth turned into the mature reflection and support of parents as they aged. Their lives are so tragic and poignant. I enjoyed learning more about them in their own words, especially. Many more of the letters in the book were Zelda's than Scott's and she ...more
Kelsey
Jul 27, 2014 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
This is a must have for fans of Scott and/or Zelda Fitzgerald. Their letters begin during their courting, and last all the way to the bitter end, where their marriage had essentially fallen apart, but they still had a sense of love for each other. Like their books, their letters were beautifully written and intense, and the readers can see the love they both held for one another. They were consumed by it. As an outsider looking in, it's almost like you feel you're invading their personal and pri ...more
Ran Alzahrani
Aug 01, 2016 Ran Alzahrani rated it it was amazing
They were tragic , but tragic in the best sense .....


#Zelda_Fitzgerald

When I first start reading this letters I never thought that I will meet my matching lady !!
Zelda , she was so obsessed with the idea of being creative.

She wanted to be good at ballet , a painter , a writer , a novelist. She wanted to be famous for who she is ..
.
She took lessons in dancing , in painting , in writing too.

Zelda accomplished what she had desired , she became a ballerina.
Also she was REALLY good painter
, She
...more
Sarah Beth
Sep 10, 2015 Sarah Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book consists of over 300 letters written between Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald during the twenty-two years that were their courtship and marriage. Sadly for the couple, but fortunately for the reader, Scott and Zelda were frequently separated due to Scott's writing endeavors and Zelda's mental illness, meaning that much of their lives are documented in their correspondence. Although Zelda proved less reliable at keeping track of Scott's letters, meaning the majority of those in this book are ...more
Rebecca Dunbar
Mar 18, 2014 Rebecca Dunbar rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic collection of letters. Mainly Zelda's, they provide a fascinating insight into the much-mythologised Fitzgerald marriage.
Kate
May 26, 2016 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are truly love letters: love in all its phases, even the deeply unglamorous ones. It's as good a portrait of their marriage as I have read, partly because it is in their own words, and partly because the editors do not take sides; their notes are very even-handed. That said, the selection is quite Zelda-heavy, and her florid writing gets extremely tedious. But the picture that emerges is one of a couple who cared deeply for each other as long as they lived, despite their many, often self-i ...more
Jeneece Western
May 20, 2015 Jeneece Western rated it really liked it
Who better to hear about their love story than from them directly? I must admit that I enjoyed Scott's letters more than Zelda's (she can be a bit flowery for me). Gave you a distinct insight to each of them that we are lucky to have. Both are brilliant, obviously. Makes you wonder if they are artists because of their struggles or do they struggle to improve their artistry? Very real and tragic that both of their medical conditions could not have been cared for in better ways so that we may have ...more
Danielle
Aug 02, 2013 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So amazingly witty and tragic. Loved every page.
Sarah
Jul 25, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Ugh these guys break my heart.
Frances
Mar 18, 2012 Frances rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read in one day!!!!! Loved it:)
Travis L.
Apr 29, 2014 Travis L. rated it liked it
Perhaps it was the era that these letters were written that made reading these a chore; or perhaps it's just that personal letters between two people aren't always exciting. Either way, I struggled through this book; even pausing at one point to read "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" before moving forward. Zelda's letters were sometimes completely over-the-top, describing things in terms that just made absolutely no sense to me. Perhaps in the 20s everything would have made sense and I am just mispl ...more
Sean Endress
Nov 13, 2013 Sean Endress rated it it was amazing
What I love about a well-written autobiography is that it takes someone larger-than-life and turns them into a real, accessible person, that you feel like you get to know. Obviously, this is no autobiography, not really, but it causes the same effect. These were real people, who laughed and cried, who reached incredible heights, only to fall from them.

But they are real, and they are beautiful. Anyone who has ever been in love will recognize their own heart in these pages, their own story. Genuin
...more
Samantha Lazar
Nov 19, 2008 Samantha Lazar rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
I am reading The Great Gatsby right now with my juniors, and before we read, we watched a video about Fitzgerald's life. The movie was old and a little out-of-date, so my students did not seem very interested. However, I found this book, and it is about Fitzgerald's life. The book contains letters that Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda wrote to one another throughout the course of their lives.

I have to say that this was much more exciting than the movie! The letters were so captivating and it showed
...more
Nina Schmidt
Nov 05, 2015 Nina Schmidt rated it liked it
Maybe it is a presumptuous Statement to make, but somehow I believe after reading THIS SIDE OF PARADISE every Girl fell in love not just with the lead character Amory Blaine, but also the author who created him and a world so fair. I did. Consequently I was delighted when I found out about his published love letters.
But, after reading it I was dissapointed. Not about the letters, they are beautiful, enchanting, a miracle. But I am dissapointed about the effect the book had on me: All through th
...more
Christina ~
Dec 31, 2014 Christina ~ rated it it was amazing
I'm hopeful to add to this a bit later...for now, there is no other possible way to fully understand the intricacies of Scott and Zelda's infamous marriage, than to read it from their own words. She, sadly hardly mentioned for her talent, was an absolutely brilliant writer.

If you are interested in the Fitzgerald's and want an inside peek, I would highly encourage you to read this book seamlessly put together with an introduction by their granddaughter and important narrative written to explain
...more
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfini ...more
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“I love her, and that's the beginning and end of everything.” 635 likes
“I wish we could spend July by the sea, browning ourselves and feeling water-weighted hair flow behind us from a dive. I wish our gravest concerns were the summer gnats. I wish we were hungry for hot dogs and dopes, and it would be nice to smell the starch of summer linens and the faint odor of talc in blistering summer bath houses ... We could lie in long citoneuse beams of the five o'clock sun on the plage at Juan-les-Pins and hear the sound of the drum and piano being scooped out to sea by the waves.” 125 likes
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