The Beautiful and Damned is the story of Anthony Patch and his wife, Gloria. Harvard-educated and an aspiring aesthete, Patch is waiting for his inheritance upon his grandfather's death. His reckless marriage to Gloria is fueled by alcohol and destroyed by greed.
The Patches race through a series of alcohol-induced fiascoes––first in hilarity, then in despair. The Beautiful and Damned, a devastating portrait of the nouveaux riches, New York nightlife, reckless ambition, and squandered talent, was published in 1922 on the heels of Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise. It signaled his maturity as a storyteller and confirmed his enormous talent as a novelist.