Taps at Reveille
Hard Cover. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935. 1st Edition. Fine.
First edition, first printing, second state. Inscribed and signed by the author in black ink on front endpaper: "For Jim Hurley / adhesive tape expert / ('May every tape- / writer ribbon prove / to be an adhesive / tape' Dorothy Dix) / From his friend / F Scott Fitzgerald / Ashville 1936". Bound in the publisher's original dark blue cloth; in the original second issue dust jacket with no price stamped to front flap, featuring illustrations of dancing figures over an orange background to front panel, lettered in black. A near fine copy, with light wear to the spine ends, light rubbing to the corners, a hint of spotting on the page edges and the front and back hinges; in a very good supplied dust jacket with toning to the spine, light wear and a few minor chips to the extremities, short tear to bottom edge of the front fold and some shallow splitting at spine folds. A very attractive copy. Fitzgerald inscribed this copy of Taps at Reveille to his friend James B. Hurley, a clerk at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, a resort hotel where the author resided from 1935 - 1936. Fitzgerald first traveled to Asheville on an extended visit due to personal health concerns about his lungs and stayed after he moved his wife Zelda to the Highland Hospital at Asheville. Hurley worked for Fitzgerald for nine months after applying to a classified advertisement for a typist. He typed Fitzgerald's manuscripts, manually manipulating his typewriter to create a triple-space between lines, Fitzgerald's preferred layout for editing. Additionally, Fitzgerald had Hurley assist with his finances, including contacting The Saturday Evening Post for payments when Fitzgerald's checking account was running low. When the two parted ways, Fitzgerald bequeathed Hurley with two manuscripts for his short stories and three signed novels, including this one. Bruccoli and Baughman, 124. Taps at Reveille is Fitzgerald's fourth collection of short stories and the last book published during his lifetime, one year after Tender is the Night. The collection contains eighteen stories, including: "Crazy Sunday," "A Woman with a Past," The Last of the Belles," and "Babylon Revisited." According to the publisher, Fitzgerald chose his best short stories for this collection, ones full of poignant and amusing stories of youth, gaiety, and adolescent error. "Babylon Revisited" is perhaps the best-known; it is a rueful contemplation of the Jazz Age in Paris and its follies (Edith H. Walton, New York Times).