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Fitzgerald, Francis Scott. "News of Paris - Fifteen Years Ago".


Henry Haven Dell, aged 26, waits for the departure of his delayed ship. He meets his lover, countess Ruth. The two attend a wedding and pretend they do not know each other for the sake of the tabloid press.

In a café, Henry accidentally meets Bessie Wing who is about to break her engagement. Henry offers himself to "comfort" her. The two agree on a signal which Bessie is to give when she has finished the matter. In the same café Henry arranges to meet Ruth for lunch. When he sees Bessie's signal, he takes goodbye from Ruth, pretending that his ship is about to leave.

Henry accompanies Bessie to her flat. Having still some time left, Henry takes Bessie to an exhibition. Then he takes leave from her, wondering how to kill stray hours.

He visits a young girl orphan whom he endowed to enable her education. Asking her what she is to do for a job, he is told that she is to marry a rich man. Though he never thought of endowing her for the sake of marrying her, the idea comes to his mind. He starts to feel jealousy toward the man who accompanies her.



- set in Paris in the aftermath of WW I

- shows that neither money nor promiscuity can fill the emptiness one feels inside

- being well off means having too much free time, being bored, and feeling unfulfilled

- dehumanization and lack of feeling (Henry cheats one of his lovers, Ruth, to be able to be with another, Bessie)

- emotional confusion (e.g. Bessie broke her engagement because there were too many men around her and she did not know whom she loved)

- note: the story remains unfinished because of the author's death


  • Author

    Fitzgerald, Francis Scott. (1896 - 1940).
  • Full Title

    "News of Paris - Fifteen Years Ago".
  • First Published

    In: Furioso. 1947.
  • Form

    Short story.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, Francis Scott. "News of Paris - Fifteen Years Ago". (1947). In: Collected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2007.


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