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(FITZGERALD, F. Scott.) HILL, William Ely.

Wedding Night Jitters, original drawing.

Availability: In stock

Published: 1915

Stock Code: 123681

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


The illustrator William Ely Hill (1887-1962) was born in Binghamton, New York. He first came to notice with his cartoons in Puck, the American humorous weekly. In April 1916 he began a long association with the New York Tribune which lasted through 1922, with a series of full-page drawings under the title Among Us Mortals. Periodicals which later published his work include Vanity Fair, Redbook, McClure's, and American Magazine; his work continued to be widely syndicated until his retirement in 1960.
To book collectors his work is most familiar from the dust jacket illustrations he produced for three F. Scott Fitzgerald first editions: This Side of Paradise (1920), Flappers and Philosophers (1920), and The Beautiful and Damned (1922).
The present illustration represents an earlier version of the same situation as that on the jacket of The Beautiful and Damned, with a fashionable young couple seated side by side but with heads and bodies turned away from each other.
Characteristically, Fitzgerald worried that Hill's design was taking personal satirical aim at him, complaining to his publisher, Max Perkins: "The more I think of the picture on the jacket the more I fail to understand his drawing that man. The girl is excellent of course - it looks somewhat like Zelda but the man, I suspect, is a sort of debauched edition of me."
Had he seen this earlier illustration, Fitzgerald might have been reassured by the evidence that Hill had long since mastered the portrayal of a disillusioned young couple. Aside from minor changes in costume and hair styles, the two designs are recognisably similar.

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Two-tone gouache and pastel on board, 41 x 55 cm. Signed "W. E. Hill '15" in the bottom left corner.


Examined out of frame, front board with some light wear to the edges not affecting the image, a few minor smudges, else fine. Verso with pencilled auction notations, former owner's inscription of artist's name and illustration date, light offsetting from the frame, minor peeling to the board, some smudging. In original black wooden frame, with new archival matting and new museum glass.


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