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"All I want to be is very young always and very irresponsible and to feel that my life is my own - to live and be happy and die in my own way to please myself."

-Zelda Fitzgerald



  • According to The New York Times, her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald often drew “freely from Zelda’s diaries, letters and experiences…for his own work.” F. Scott based some of his characters on Zelda, and he adapted his real-life interactions and experiences with her into his novels. In a piece she wrote for The New York Tribune, Zelda poked fun at her husband, saying that he “seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.”
  • She truly believed in the radical idea that women should be more than just daughters and wives. She wanted women to have the same rights as men, and she liked to test her boundaries as a woman.

Anouck Lepere plays Zelda Fitzgerald by Carter Smith for W

  • In high school, Zelda’s desire to be unconventional and rebellious meant that she smoked, drank alcohol, and snuck out of her parents’ house to spend time with boys.
  • When she was living with her husband in New York, her carefree spirit and profligate behavior (such as jumping into fountains fully clothed) became a symbol of the 1920s.
  • In addition to being a strong writer, she was also a painter. Her artwork includes paper dolls crafted for her daughter, Scottie, illustrations from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and many scenes from New York City where she resided with Fitzgerald for some time.
  • Her husband called her the first American flapper, and she became a 1920s icon due to her vivacious nature and bon vivant lifestyle.


  •  Zelda’s marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald was reportedly a toxic one, complete with alcoholism, mutual infidelity, and jealousy.
  • At the age of 27, she was preoccupied with her desire to become a ballerina. She practiced eight hours a day, exhausting herself, and as a result her health deteriorated.
  • She survived to see her husband become friends with Ernest Hemingway, a relationship she despised. She later accused them both of being homosexual, though there was no evidence of it. In response, Fitzgerald hired a prostitute for the night to prove his manliness while Hemingway accused Zelda of being “crazy.”

  • Some of her biographers paint her as a victim of a patriarchal society, and that Scott was trying to silence her creativity so that he could use her material himself.
  • In 1948, Zelda was killed in a fire. Following her mental collapse in 1930, Zelda was in and out of facilities for mental illness. She was maintaining residence at Highland Hospital in Ashville, North Carolina when a fire broke out March 10, 1948. Zelda and eight other women were killed. She was laid to rest with Fitzgerald who passed in 1940 from a heart attack. Inscribed on their tomb is the very last line of The Great Gatsby. It reads:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  • The Amazon Original series, titled “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” stars Christina Ricci as Zelda Fitzgerald and follows the Southern Belle turned flapper on a wild ride through the Jazz Age



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