F SCOTT FITZGERALD~ AUTOGRAPH- LETTERS~INA CLAIRE- LOVE AFFAIR For Sale
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F SCOTT FITZGERALD~ AUTOGRAPH- LETTERS~INA CLAIRE- LOVE AFFAIR:
F SCOTT FITZGERALD~2 LETTERS~INA CLAIRE
FITZGERALD, F. Scott. Archive of Two (2) Autograph
To actress Ina Claire:
1). Autograph Letter Signed ("F. Scott Fitzgerald") in black fountain pen
ink on Wilmington, DE, n.d., on Du Pont Biltmore letterhead. 6" x 9 1/2",
1 page (recto only). Very good (minor signs of handling).
Scholars have long known that Fitzgerald was fascinated with actress Ina
Claire from the moment as a teenager he first saw her on the stage. What
has not been revealed before now is that Claire attended one of the
Fitzgerald's notorious parties at the Ellerslie estate in Delaware, where the
Fitzgeralds resided from 1927 to 1929. From the lobby of the Biltmore
Hotel in Wilmington, Fitzgerald sends this letter to the actress.
"Fabulously beautiful Creature / Faultlessly groomed I shall be on hand a
little after five and in one of my fleet of swift Rolls-Royces whisk you in a
3 1/2 minutes to our palace of delights upon the limpid Delaware. A
thousand Cercassian girls and eunuchs will perform a march while we dine
(at 6) upon bats wings and Chateau Yquem 1909."
2). Autograph Letter Signed ("Gene Marky") in black fountain pen ink on
Edgemore, DE, n.d. (but the morning after the previous letter was written),
on "Ellerslie" letterhead,8 1/2" x 11", 1 page (recto only).
Letter to Ina Claire, apologizing for his previous night's behavior.
All the promise of the previous lot's letter evaporates in the first line of this
note, written the next morning in the fog of a hangover.
"Whether I passed out or was even more offensive I don't know - the only
thing in my favor was that I had a dim foreboding of catastrophe from
about the time the Hergesheimers left, & I wanted to get you home as soon
as possible. What ho~! But nevertheless less I like you too much to endure
the lousy impression you will inevitably carry away & this is
wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa (& all that sentence & old fashioned time
honored unacceptable, unwelcome inevitable apology, that you can
doubtless fill out for yourself)."
WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT CLAIRE AND MARKEY DATED AT ONE TIME; ALSO THAT THEY JOINTLY WROTE AN ARTICLE ENTITLED "BRIGHT ALLEY" THAT APPEARED IN THE HARPER'S BAZAARISSUE OF FEBRUARY, 1927. THIS MAY EXPLAIN FITZGERALD'S USE OF MARKEY'S NAME.
of the published biographies record what went wrong at the dinner.
It's possible that Zelda Fitzgerald, if she was present, could have
engineered some sort of scene; or Fitzgerald my simply be embarrassed by
his own clumsy pass at Claire that may or may not have succeeded.
Fitzgerald closes wistfully: "Can you more or less have breakfast with me?
I await below."
Ina Claire (1893-1985), born Ina Fagan, October 15, 1893, Washington,
DC; died February 21, 1985, San Francisco, California; effervescent, blond
star of sophisticated Broadway comedy in the late 1920s; American actress
film and Broadway; films include: "The Awful Truth" 1929; "The Royal
Family of Broadway" 1930; "Rebound" 1931; "Ninotchka" 1939;
"Claudia" 1943. Married to actor John Gilbert 1920-1931.
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Palm Springs, California 92263
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