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|"... My whole theory of
writing I can sum up in one sentence: An author ought to write for the
youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the
schoolmasters of ever afterward ...." from The Author's
Apology, THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, 1st edition, 3rd printing,
IS THE NIGHT:
A Romance by F. Scott
First edition, first
printing, 1934, inscribed by Fitzgerald to the actress, Helen Hayes, and
the writer, Charles MacArthur.
MacArthur became a good friend of Fitzgerald, and visited Fitzgerald
several times while Scott and Zelda were living in southern France.
MacArthur's first visit with Fitzgerald was in 1926, on the Riviera (re:
SOME SORT OF EPIC GRANDEUR, 1981, by Prof. Matthew J. Bruccoli).
Fitzgerald composed the character of Abe North from the personality traits
of Charles MacArthur and Ring Lardner.
Hayes, one of the most respected actresses of the period, considered
Fitzgerald one of her favorite writers (re: GIFT OF JOY, 1965, by Helen
MacArthur was one of the first people to visit the Fitzgerald's in the
spring of 1927 after they had rented "Ellerslie," a house in
together, Fitzgerald and MacArthur were often prone to drunken
pranks. At Grace Moore's villa, they made a humorous film with Ben
Finney, called, Love's Betrayal, or a Simple Story of Incest.
When attending the play, Grand Hotel, in New York, Fitzgerald and
MacArthur were asked to leave due to their drunken disturbances.
Throughout the second half of the 1920s, Fitzgerald and MacArthur became
quite close, discussing their various writing projects with each other,
including TENDER IS THE NIGHT and THE FRONT PAGE.
MacArthur was one of Fitzgerald's most significant connections in
Hollywood. MacArthur often provided Fitzgerald with introductions to
some of the most influential figures in the industry. Introduction
to Irving Thalberg provided Fitzgerald with his main character for his
unfinished novel, THE LAST TYCOON .
Penny," an Italianate Victorian estate built in 1858, located at 235
N. Broadway, Nyack, New York, was purchased in 1932 by Helen Hayes and
Charles MacArthur . When the MacArthurs were in residence,
"Pretty Penny" became a salon for various artists and actors,
including Noel Coward, Edward Hopper, Katherine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh,
Rosalind Russell, Laurence Olivier, John Barrymore, Cole Porter and
numerous others. It was here F. Scott Fitzgerald left a first
edition of TENDER IS THE NIGHT, signed to Helen Hayes and Charles
many occasions, especially while Fitzgerald was in Baltimore, trying to
finish TENDER IS THE NIGHT and looking after Zelda, who was a patient at
the mental hospital at John Hopkins University, Fitzgerald's daughter,
Scottie, stayed with Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur in Nyack, New
York. Scottie also stayed with Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur
when Fitzgerald was in Hollywood, working on screenplays and living with
Bruccoli A.15.I.a, is a first edition, first printing, bound in original
dark bluish green cloth, 1 of 7,600 copies, published April 12, 1934 by
Scribners, printed by the Scribner Press. Condition: very good;
spine lightly sunned; covers clean and bright; internal pages clean and
jacket, first edition, first issue, is supplied and in near fine
condition, with little or no fading; however, there are several fold marks
on spine and a few short, closed tears.
book itself is said to have been purchased by Fitzgerald in a New York
used bookstore, as Fitzgerald had no other copies of TENDER IS THE NIGHT
to give to friends.
MacArthur was also a good friend of and often a collaborator with Ben
Hecht. Hecht was considered the archetypal screenplay writer of the
1920s through the 1940s. Hecht wrote the screenplay for Ernest
Hemingway's FAREWELL TO ARMS, in which MacArthur's wife, Helen Hayes,
starred Hecht and MacArthur wrote the highly successful play, THE
FRONT PAGE, which was adapted into a movie called, My Girl Friday,
with Rossalind Russell and Cary Grant. Hecht also completed such
screen plays as Gone With the Wind, Gunga Din, Wuthering
Heights, and Monkey Business (with Groucho Marx). Hecht
was considered one of Hollywood's most important screenplay writers by
Irving Thalberg, David O. Selznick and Alfred Hitchcock.
MacArthur and Ben Hecht
For more books by and about F.
Scott Fitzgerald, please click on the following links: