The Beautiful and Damned is a 1922 novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in New York City, the novel’s plot follows a young artist Anthony Patch and his flapper wife Gloria Gilbert who become “wrecked on the shoals of dissipation” while excessively partying at the dawn of the hedonistic Jazz Age. As Fitzgerald’s second novel, the work focuses upon the swinish behavior and glittering excesses of the American social elite in the heyday of New York’s café society. Fitzgerald modeled the characters of Anthony Patch on himself and Gloria Gilbert on his newlywed spouse Zelda Fitzgerald. The novel draws circumstantially upon the early years of Fitzgeralds’ tempestuous marriage following the unexpected success of the author’s first novel This Side of Paradise. At the time of their wedding in 1920, Fitzgerald claimed neither he nor Zelda loved each other, and the early years of their marriage in New York City were more akin to a friendship.
The Beautiful and Damned
Gloria and Anthony Patch party until their money runs out; then their goal becomes Adam Patch’s fortune. Gloria’s beauty fades and Anthony’s drinking takes its horrible toll. Fitzgerald here once again displays a wariness of the upper classes.