'A Masterpiece Has Happened!': The Original Ads for Classic Books

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How The Great Gatsby, Slaughterhouse Five, Of Mice and Men, Winnie-the-Pooh, and other enduring works of literature were first marketed

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Recently, we stumbled across this great original advertisement for "Scott Fitzgerald's new novel The Great Gatsby" (below) that was discovered in a 1925 copy of the Princetonian. Though printed ads for books less and less common—at least outside of magazine and newspaper book-review sections—they used to be pervasive. In fact, the first-ever print ad of any kind was actually for a book entitled Perfect Occurrences of Every Daie journall in Parliament, and Other Moderate Intelligence. Charmed by the pencil sketch of Fitzgerald, and by the whole idea of book ads in general-interest publications, we dug around for a few more vintage advertisements for classic books. Now, if only we could see some of these on a Times Square billboard.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

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Emily Temple is an editor at Flavorpill.

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