- The Beautiful and Damned
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, The Beautiful and Damned (1922), is a devastating portrait of a generation of wealthy young Americans who struggle to find meaning and happiness in their lives. The sophisticated but emotionally fragile Anthony Patch enjoys an initially idyllic marriage to the beautiful Gloria Gilbert. But their intense romance turns sour as they waste their time and energy in decadent leisure and luxury. Their happiness comes to depend on gaining a vast inheritance from Anthony’s grandfather, but they are stifled by their inner fears and are ill-prepared for the inevitable loss of youth and prosperity. Set amid the vibrant social and commercial world of New York in the early twentieth century, the novel expresses the promise and disillusionment of America at the start of the Jazz Age.
This is the novel that confirmed Fitzgerald’s status as the most celebrated young American writer of the Twenties. The author’s exuberant and enchanting style is on full display, three years before the critical triumph of The Great Gatsby.