The Offshore Pirate

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"The Offshore Pirate" is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1920. It is one of eight short stories originally published in Fitzgerald's first collection, Flappers and Philosophers.

The story is about a spoiled young woman named Ardita Farnam, who is on a trip to Florida with her uncle. Their boat is eventually captured by "pirates," and she falls in love with their captain.

"The Offshore Pirate" (May 29, 1920) was Fitzgerald's third Saturday Evening Post appearance during the month and demonstrates his rapid development as a versatile fiction writer. It is the first story that develops Fitzgerald's recurrent plot idea of a heroine won by her lover's performance of an extraordinary deed.

The story was adapted to film, as The Off-Shore Pirate in 1921 and starred Viola Dana as Ardita.[1] In 2010 the operatic version by Joel Weiss premiered at Christopher Street Opera in New York City.[2]

The story had originally ended with the weak explanation that it was all Ardita's dream. Fitzgerald rewrote the conclusion to emphasize the reality of the story: "The last line takes Lorimer [the editor of the Post] at his word. It is one of the best lines I've ever written."