The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald was the first large collection of Fitzgerald’s letters to be released. Published by Scribners in 1963, it was edited by Andrew Turnbull. A friend of the family growing up, he also wrote a biography of Fitzgerald, which came out in 1962. In a letter to Andrew’s mother Margaret Turnbull dated November 11, 1936, Fitzgerald writes, “Andrew is a brave fighter and I admire, sometimes, his stubbornness and his reticence just as much as I would like him in the sunshine when I have tried to give him what I have found from life.”
Turnbull explains in his Introduction why he chose the letters he did: “The letters here printed are a selection from perhaps twice this number that were available. They have been chosen for readability, literary quality, and with an eye to displaying the variousness of their author’s complex nature.” He summarizes the letters, saying, “Fitzgerald’s attachment to those who had shared his time and experience here on earth, his sense of identity with them, his caring – that is perhaps the final burden and beauty of these letters.”1
In reviewing the collection for The New Your Times in 1963, Herbert Mitgang wrote, “The letters are so arranged that this thick volume forms a personal and literary history of the writer, his family and his writing contemporaries.”2
The book is divided into 13 parts, 12 of which are devoted to letters to one or two persons, with the last part a collection of miscellaneous letters. The longest sections are those devoted to his daughter and to his agent. Parts are as follows, with date ranges of letters in parentheses. For quotes click on the link for each section below.
- Letters to Frances Scott Fitzgerald (1933-1940)
- Letters to Zelda Fitzgerald (1939-1940)
- Letters to Maxwell Perkins (1919-1940)
- Letters to Ernest Hemingway (1925-1940)
- Letters to Edmund Wilson (1917-1940)
- Letters to John Peale Bishop (1922-1935)
- Letters to Shane Leslie (1917-1921)
- Letters to Christian Gauss (1928-1935)
- Letters to Harold Ober (1920-1939)
- Letters to Mrs. Richard Taylor (1917-1940)
- Letters to Gerald and Sara Murphy (1935-1940)
- Letters to Mrs. Bayard Turnbull (1932-1939)
- Miscellaneous Letters (1907-1940)
- Turnbull, Andrew (Editor). The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1963.
- “Andrew Turnbull Is Dead at 48; Biographer of Scott Fitzgerald.” The New York Times, January 11, 1970.