I’ve always adored the writing skills of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The way he writes is so magical and interesting to me. He is such an inspiration for me and I hope that when I start a novel you’ll be able to see his influence in my writing.
I haven’t read every single piece of writing he produced yet, but what I have read are just spectacular. The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite novels of all time.
I know he drew a lot of inspiration from his real life and his marriage to Zelda Fitzgerald. The two had a wild relationship. I think it’s evident in both of their works how much they loved each other, but also how rocky their relationship was.
Born in 1892 as Francis Scott Fitzgerald. He was always seen as literary skilled and attended Princeton with the class of 1916. F. Scott Fitzgerald was then deployed to Camp Sheridan, near Montgomery. He didn’t expect to leave the trenches so he wrote about his education and young life in a memoir called ‘The Romantic Egoists’, but it was rejected by publishers – probably because it was rushed, I can’t imagine it being his best work.
When F. Scott Fitzgerald met Zelda Sayre in Montgomery in 1918, he was instantly captivated by her. She was socially reckless and wasn’t one for settling down with a boring life. I think Francis liked that about her. She declined marriage proposals from him. Scott even edited characters in his books to resemble her, just like Rosalind Connage in ‘This Side of Paradise’. Taking inspiration from his real life, and real life interactions, Scott used the meeting between Zelda and himself as the way Gatsby and Daisy meet for the first time in ‘The Great Gatsby’.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was an excessive drinker, and Zelda’s family were wary of that. He wasn’t a horrible man, at all though. After ‘This Side of Paradise’ was accepted for publication, Zelda accepted Fitzgerald’s marriage proposal, and the two were wed in 1920.
In 1921 F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda had a daughter, Francis ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald. Whilst under anaesthetic Zelda spoke about her daughter saying ‘ I hope it’s beautiful and a fool – a beautiful little fool’. Fitzgerald worked most of what Zelda said into his work, including this line; Daisy Buchanan says it when, she too, talks about her daughter.
Zelda was the first of the pair to cheat, although they both did. The two grew miserable within their relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald; Fitzgerald’s drinking was getting increasingly worse, and Zelda grew erratic. In the end, Zelda was admitted to a mental hospital in France but was then moved to Switzerland. She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. After she was released, they both moved back to Montgomery, Georgia. F. Scott Fitzgerald left for Hollywood, and while he was gone Zelda’s father died and her health, once again, deteriorated and she was placed back into a hospital.
In 1940, F. Scott Fitzgerald died. He died before he could complete ‘The Last Tycoon’, but a friend edited it and it was published in 1941. Two years before his death, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda went on a trip, but it couldn’t have gone worse and the two never saw each other again after that. They did write to each other often, though, and Zelda managed to attend his funeral. Zelda died eight years after her husband due to a fire in the hospital she was residing. The couple is buried together in Rockville, Maryland.
Francis ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald, the only daughter of the couple, became a writer, and journalist for many newspapers including ‘The New Yorker’ and ‘The Washington Post’. She died of throat cancer in 1986 and is buried next to her parents.
F. Scott Fitzgerald will always be the biggest inspiration in whatever I write. I will always feel tremendous love and gratitude towards him for all of the amazing art he produced in his life, and even after death.
Who is your favourite author and why?
Thanks for reading!