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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

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,385 ratings  ·  103 reviews
“Pure and lovely…to read Zelda’s letters is to fall in love with her.” —The Washington Post

Edited by renowned Jackson R. Bryer and Cathy W. Barks, with an introduction by Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's granddaughter, Eleanor Lanahan, this compilation of over three hundred letters tells the couple's epic love story in their own words.

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's devotion to
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Scribner (first published 1985)
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Start your review of Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Steven Godin
This collection of letters, beginning in Alabama, August 1918, and finishing in Hollywood at the end of 1940 as Scott was working on his novel The Last Tycoon, is a moving portrait of their twenty year complex and deep love affair, all in their own words to each other. You simply can't get more personal than that.
Various versions of the couple’s letters have been published over the years, but this one claims to contain the fullest collection of Zelda’s side of the correspondence.
There were so
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Susan
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
T.D. Whittle
Sadly, the majority of Scott's letters are lost or destroyed so these are mostly Zelda's letters to Scott. It would have been even better to have had more of his side of the correspondence. They both wrote gorgeous letters. This collection gives us, directly from the couple themselves, a lot of information about their relationship. Clearly, they never stopped loving each other, and the letters certainly put paid to all the ranting fools who call Scott a wife abuser and who claim he drove Zelda ...more
death
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Winter Sophia Rose
Informative, Fun & Beautiful! An Amazing Read! I Loved It!
Roman Clodia
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sad, sad story

This collection of many (though not all) of the letters written between Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald offers an intimate and unsurpassed view of their lives, personalities and, overall, their marriage. Reading the letters serves to debunk many of the Fitzgerald myths: principally, that the marriage was overwhelmingly toxic.

In truth, what we get from these is a sense of the deep and abiding bond between Scott and Zelda, however complicated and troubled they each were at times and in
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Marck Rimorin
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Aleksandra
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This collection of letters has been my on and off companion for about seven months now, and I feel incredibly privileged to have this glimpse into the life of the Fitzgeralds. It did nothing to demystify them for me, however, and if anything, I don’t seem to have romanticized them enough. But in all seriousness, they are... original, corageous, dignified. Grand. Completely lovely. Completely devastating. I mean, this while they are both unwell and poor, and the one writing it in a mental ...more
Kirk
Dec 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Tawni
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Meghan
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memior, non-fiction
We ruined ourselves -- I have never honestly thought that we ruined each other. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

You are the only person on earth, Lover, who had ever known and loved all of me -- Men love me because I'm pretty -- and they're always afraid of mental wickedness -- or men live me because I am clever, and they're always afraid of my prettiness -- But you just do, darling -- and I do -- so very, very much -- ~ Zelda Fitzgerald
Elisha
This book is a Fitzgerald fan's dream. It honestly shouldn't have taken an assigned reading list to get me to read it, but in actual fact I'm so glad that I read it when I did, because just when I was starting to get Fitzgerald fatigue, this book came along and reignited my adoration of them all over again. I've read a lot of good stuff on the Fitzgeralds, from fascinating journal articles to the popular and incomparable biographies by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Nancy Milford, but I think this is ...more
Rebecca
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
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rachael gibson
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sarah
Dec 22, 2008 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 ...more
Mekhala Pande
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scott and Zelda are like beautiful, albeit shattered mirrors reflecting each other's souls in this book.
The old adage of before you can say I Love You, you must learn to say "I" really doesn't seem to hold true for these co-dependent, spinners of words, all they can spell is d-o-o-m.But hey, that's what we love about them, right?The beautifully crafted sentences, which tap into our soul and emotions.
Ah, Scott and Zelda really embody the "Call of the void", the self destructive will to live is
...more
Cheryl Gautreau
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is mostly Zelda's letters to Scott, though we see more correspondence from him in the later years (some letters were lost or destroyed).

What was most interesting was to witness Zelda's mental health waver through her writing. You could tell when she was more unwell and when she was coming back around by not only the things she wrote about, but how scattered her thoughts were and how unstructured her writing was.

It was also interesting to see how much of a better writer Zelda was than
...more
Marianne
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
UPDATE: Upped it to 5!

5 stars!

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald have not only been regarded as stark figures of the roaring twenties but also somewhat as myths themselves. I have heard many things about the Fitzgeralds, of which include: Scott was a careless drunk that drove Zelda to insanity, Zelda's insanity led to Scott's obsessive drinking, Zelda was a magnificent talent held down by a domineering husband, Scott downright opposed any creative attempts that Zelda sought etc. These letters have
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Katy
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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:
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Brian Neumann
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Aubrey
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Anne
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Flurry
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jess
Apr 11, 2013 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 ...more
Barbara
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Joey
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-4-stars
Zelda Fitzgerald was a very endearing person to read. Her love letters to Scott demonstrate such a passion for him. I can only dream of finding someone that passionate. It's a shame that alcoholism was such a huge component in Scott's life, which by my understanding, was a contributing factor that prevented him from giving her the proper attention and affection she so desperately craved.

I think an ideal romantic relationship would blossom when there is successful communication on both ends, a
...more
Kelsey
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Samantha Glasser
I read a lot of this book in high school. I have always been much more fascinated with the Fitzgeralds' personal lives than their novels. These letters give a good idea of who they were and what they were thinking about. They were definitely artists. I took my senior yearbook quote from one of Zelda's letters: "...and in a hundred years I think I shall like having young people speculate on whether my eyes were brown or blue..."
Rebecca Dunbar
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic collection of letters. Mainly Zelda's, they provide a fascinating insight into the much-mythologised Fitzgerald marriage.
Frances
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read in one day!!!!! Loved it:)
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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 ...more
“I love her, and that's the beginning and end of everything.” 875 likes
“Excuse me for being so intellectual. I know you would prefer something nice and feminine and affectionate.” 166 likes
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