LLR Books

It's the birthday of Zelda Fitzgerald

 born Zelda Sayre in 1900. Her father was a judge in Montgomery, Alabama, and her mother was a nonconformist housewife. Zelda was a wild child, larger than life, and many times she was only saved from disgrace by her family's reputation and social standing. Her childhood friend Eleanor Addison wrote: "By day she was healthy and hoydenish, a veritable dynamo, by night a beautiful enchantress. ... When she commandeered a streetcar and went clanging down Court Street with the befuddled motorman practically hanging on the ropes, the town criers lifted their eyes to the heavens and said, 'disgraceful.' When she danced like an angel in a pink ballet costume at some charity affair, the same town criers murmured, 'beautiful.'"
She met F. Scott Fitzgerald at a dance in 1918, and they were both smitten. She refused to marry him, though, until he published his first book. She assured him that she loved him, and that he shouldn't worry if she flirted with other men a little bit. "Don't you think I was made for you? I feel like you had me ordered -- and I was delivered to you -- to be worn -- I want you to wear me like a watch-chain or button-hole bouquet -- to the world." They married in 1920, and they were the standard-bearers for the Jazz Age: beautiful, glamorous, and free. By the end of the decade, Scott had descended into alcoholism, and Zelda had descended into madness. She had her first schizophrenic breakdown in 1930, and spent the rest of her life in and out of mental institutions. She died in 1948, eight years after her husband, in a fire at the Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.
Scott Fitzgerald said: "I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity and her flaming self-respect and it's these things I'd believe in even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all that she should be. ... I love her and that's the beginning and the end of it."