Few names are as synonymous with the North Shore as Jay Gatsby—and this holiday, fans of literature’s symbol of the Gilded Age can own a piece of Long Island history.
For its first U.S. publication, Editions des Saints Pères (SP Books) has reproduced the original 302-page autographed manuscript of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby for a limited number of collectors. Throughout handwritten pages, the novel’s characters are sketched, revised and born. The manuscript, donated to Princeton University Library in 1950 by Fitzgerald’s daughter, Scottie, is full of surprises. Entire scenes are extended. Passages are crossed out while others are added with a caret. Lots of details change. The main difference is that Jay Gatsby’s character appears more mysterious: the story of his rise to wealth isn’t revealed until the very end of the manuscript.
Hand-numbered from 1 to 1,800, each book is presented in a 14×10 inch slipcase, bound and sewn using the finest materials. The slipcase is handmade in France and both slipcase and cover are iron gilded. The pages are printed using vegetal ink on environmentally friendly paper.
SP Book’s ultimate mission is to offer to Fitzgerald enthusiasts an object that most closely resembles that which the manuscript once was, during the 1920s, as Fitzgerald was adding his final touches. In order to make this ambition a reality, SP Books collaborated with the Princeton University Library and began working on their high-definition scans of each page.
With their customary skill, and with the help of their state-of-the art technology, SP Books’ team worked meticulously to restore the original appearance of the handwritten text: treating each page, word by word and reconstructing the nuances of Fitzgerald’s pencil marks.
To purchase this and other literary collectibles, go to www.spbooks.com.