On this day in 1919, Maxwell Perkins accepted twenty-two-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise for publication. The novel had started as a shorter piece called The Education of a Personage; following a breakup with future wife Zelda Sayre, Fitzgerald became determined to achieve success and overhauled, expanded, and retitled the book (this time after a Rupert Brooke poem) while living with his parents in St. Paul. Published in March, 1920, This Side of Paradise was an instant bestseller. Scott and Zelda were married a week later.
Scottie Fitzgerald Lanahan donated the This Side of Paradise manuscript to the Princeton University Library in 1950; the library recently digitized the whole thing.