Gatsby author F Scott Fitzgerald's accounts go online

F Scott Fitzgerald ledger Fitzgerald kept a record of his accounts and key events in the 200-page book

Related Stories

Author F Scott Fitzgerald's handwritten records of his life and career have been made available to fans and scholars after being put online.

The Great Gatsby author kept records of his publications, income and key events in a ledger, which has been put online by the University of South Carolina.

They show he made $2,000 from The Great Gatsby when it was published in 1925.

But income from the book increased, with a payment of $16,666 for film rights made the following year.

The records have been made available to coincide with the latest big-screen version of the book - a film directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio is released in May and is opening Cannes Film Festival.

Park Bucker, an associate English professor at the university, told the Associated Press news agency that the ledger "may be a unique artefact among American authors".

"This is going to be an amazing thing for students to pore over and dip into," he said. "He created his own database. We do it on computers now, but he did it for himself."

'Terrible failures'

The ledger begins in 1919 and covers the period until 1938. He died in 1940.

The document is divided into five sections - a record of published fiction, money earned by writing, published miscellany (including movies), the earnings of wife Zelda and a year-by-year account of his life.

The autobiographical section begins with his birth in 1896. Of February 1900, he wrote, referring to himself: "He celebrated the new century by swallowing a penny and catching the measles. He got rid of both of them."

By his 20s, his yearly round-ups lamented how his life was "full of terrible failures and acute miseries" (in 1923). When he was 36, in 1932, it was "a strange year of work & drink. Increasingly unhappy".

"This is a record of everything Fitzgerald wrote, and what he did with it, in his own hand," said Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Ernest F Hollings Library at the University of South Carolina.

"We know he didn't spell very well," she said. "And his arithmetic wasn't much better."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

From BBC Culture

Programmes

  • Ade Adepitan at the ColosseumThe Travel Show Watch

    The challenge of providing disabled access at Europe’s leading ancient monuments

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.