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5 Facts You Don't Know About The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Although The Great Gatsby was published way back in 1925, we still have a bit of an obsession with Fitzgerald's famous novel. I mean, we're so obsessed with the book here at Proseposters, that we've actually turned The Great Gatsby into a unique piece of wall art!

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But, while the quintessential Jazz Age novel may be revered today, this wasn't always the case. Read on to find out more and learn a few new facts about The Great Gatsby!



1. The Great Gatsby wasn't Fitzgerald's first choice of title


Like any writer (probably), Fitzgerald went back and forth on the title for his book before settling on The Great Gatsby. Other possible titles included:

  • Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires

  • Trimalchio

  • Trimalchio in West Egg

  • On the Road to West Egg

  • Under the Red, White, and Blue

  • Gold-Hatted Gatsby

  • The High-Bouncing Lover



The Great Gatsby book cover

2. The Great Gatsby has one of the most recognizable covers


The Great Gatsby has one of the most easily recognizable covers in American literature. The iconic cover was created by Spanish artist Francis Cugat and completed before Fitzgerald had even finished writing the book! When Fitzgerald saw the image, he loved it so much that he rewrote sections of The Great Gatsby to better incorporate Cugat's artwork into the story. This unique collaboration produced one of the most prominent literary symbols in American literature: Doctor TJ Eckleburg's eyes.



3. The poet who wrote the opening epigraph never existed


The Great Gatsby opens with the following epigraph:

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry, ‘Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!’
— Thomas Parke D’Invilliers

However, Thomas Parke D'invilliers wasn't actually a real person, he was a character from Fitzgerald's other novel, This Side of Paradise. While this might be seen as a show of hubris on Fitzgerald's part, he also used the name as a pen name on occasion.



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4. The Great Gatsby was a flop when it was first published


Fitzgerald's third novel was nowhere near the success he hoped it would be. While his first two books, This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and the Damned, were runaway successes, The Great Gatsby struggled to gain traction. It wasn't until the 1950s that the novel saw a surge in popularity and cemented its spot on the list of great American literature. However, Fitzgerald would never have the chance to see his novel succeed. By the time it became popular, he had already been dead for more than a decade.



5. Fitzgerald was paid less than $6000 for The Great Gatsby


So, how much did F. Scott Fitzgerald make for penning one of the great American classics? In 1921, Fitzgerald received an advance for $3,939 dollars which would be roughly the equivalent of $50,000 today. Upon publication, he received close to another $2,000. Although considered a decent sum for an advance, it was by no means princely. In his lifetime, Fitzgerald also only earned roughly $8,000 in royalties for the book.




Are you a fan of The Great Gatsby? Share your favourite fact in the comments below!


And if you like The Great Gatsby, you'll love our The Great Gatsby wall poster. Created using the entire text of Fitzgerald's famous novel, this stunning art print is sure to bring a little

Art Deco glamor into your home.

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