F.Scott Fitzgerald’s Ledger

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Daily scribbles and life of author F. Scott Fitzgerald is now available online. Researchers from the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library put a digital version of the famous author’s handwritten financial ledger on their website last week, making it available for the first time for all readers, students and scholars.

The ledger’s yellowed pages — with Fitzgerald’s elegant, measured cursive strokes — is reminiscent of life before computer spreadsheets. The ledger shows Fitzgerald’s tally of earnings from his works, the most famous of which is the novel “The Great Gatsby.” The ledger lists his many short stories, books, and adaptations for stage and screen.

In 1925, the ledger shows Fitzgerald earned less than $2,000 for the “Gatsby” book — which was the same amount he received for a single short story published in The Saturday Evening Post.

Years later, Fitzgerald added more earnings from “The Great Gatsby.” He sold the foreign motion picture rights for $16,666, as noted in the ledger. In another section, he lists about $5,000 in earnings from “Gatsby” when it ran as a play in New York, Chicago and elsewhere.

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