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The House That Inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald's Daisy Buchanan Turns the Page

For Kingdom Come Farm, a new chapter is just beginning.

Just the mention of F. Scott Fitzgerald conjures images of Jazz Age romps through the French Riviera, Long Island’s Gold Coast, or Roaring ’20s Manhattan. Yet it was Lake Forest, Illinois, a suburb just north of Chicago, that the writer considered the most glamorous place in the world.

It was one girl who made the town wondrous for him. Ginevra King, the eldest daughter of stockbroker Charles Garfield King, was the It girl of Lake Forest. Known for her dark, curly hair and deep voice, Ginevra was part of a group of debutantes called the “Big Four” that included the golfer Edith Cummings, one of America’s first superstar female athletes. Ginevra was definitely out of Fitzgerald’s league.

The sprawling 1906 home has been lovingly restored by its new owners, but it hasn’t lost many Jazz Age touches that Fitzgerald might recognize.

The pair had a short relationship, meeting first at a party in Fitzgerald’s hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1915. They wrote letters to each other, and Fitzgerald visited King at her home, but within two years the relationship was over. In 1918, King would marry the son of a banker (and grace the cover of Town & Country). Fitzgerald would go on to write some of the most famous stories in American literature. Still, whether it was Isabelle BorgĂ© in This Side of Paradise, his debut novel, or Daisy Buchanan in Gatsby, King was the inspiration for almost all of Fitzgerald’s fictional women. And Lake Forest would forever stay in his mind as more than a place, as an ideal. Kingdom Come Farm, the sprawling mansion built for the Kings in 1906 by Howard Van Doren Shaw, served as the heart of the writer’s life in this period, and today it’s once again the grand house it used to be.

“Here’s the room where the party would make their way out to the lawn,” says Jeanette Hodgkinson, pushing open doors that lead to the back yard of the home she and her husband Danny moved into in 2019. That’s likely where, if the legend is true, Charles King told Fitzgerald that “poor boys shouldn’t think of marrying rich girls.”

But 1915 was a long time ago. Over the years the home’s luster faded; it changed hands repeatedly and was remodeled in Colonial Revival style with Art Deco touches in 1938. It was updated again in the mid-’50s, but after that, nothing. Paint chipped, mold set in, a statue in the pool made by the architect’s daughter, Sylvia Shaw Judson, went missing. “There was a buck living in the back yard,” Danny says.

When the couple first visited the home, it was just months away from demolition. The Hodgkinsons bought Kingdom Come Farm and 1.4 acres, including an English garden, in the fall of 2018 for less than $700,000—a significantly lower price than years earlier, when the house and five acres of land were listed for more than $6 million.

You could always tell through his fiction where Fitzgerald had been. His time in France influenced Tender Is the Night, and, of course, Long Island’s toniest towns served as the setting for The Great Gatsby. But, judging from Fitzgerald’s written works, Lake Forest was a forgotten chapter in his life. That might explain why the home’s importance has been overlooked. Even the Hodgkinsons were initially unaware of the connection. “It just felt special,” Jeanette says.




Condo at F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Birthplace Listed for $350K


Live out your roaring '20s dream with modern comfort.

by Corinne Stremmel

From birth to age two, literary icon, F. Scott Fitzgerald lived on the second floor of a picturesque Victorian building nestled on the 400 block of Laurel Avenue in St. Paul. And now, you could too.

Listed at $350,000, this Putnam-style condo is just one of three Fitzgerald landmarks in St. Paul. While many think of Fitzgerald living a glitzy booze-fueled lifestyle in New York, the Jazz Age author grew up as a Midwestern boy attending St. Paul Academy where he wrote his first story at age thirteen in the school’s newspaper.

He lived with his parents just five blocks east of his birthplace on 286-294 Laurel Terrace and famously lived at 599 Summit Ave where he wrote This Side of Paradise in the summer of 1919. Fitzgerald’s daughter Scottie was born not long after in 1921 in St. Paul.

With plenty of history to back this listing, the owner Charlie Brokaw said he’s needed to do minimal upkeep and the building has been well maintained over the years.

Situated in Ramsey Hill, residents can enjoy the quiet, historic neighborhood while being close to plenty of restaurants and shopping with Selby Avenue just two blocks away.

Despite being built in 1892, the home maintains a chic appearance with exposed brick interiors, a fully updated kitchen, in-unit laundry, and plenty of storage. Plus a plaque outside the building notes its historical significance as Fitzgerald’s birthplace, so expect a few Fitzgerald fans to occasionally visit to read the plaque and take a few pictures.

The building has two addresses, 479 for units on the east side of the hallway and Fitzgerald’s former address, 481 Laurel Ave for the units on the west.

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Gatsby First Edition: Sold for $200,000 at Cannes Dinner at amfAR

  

 

The Great Gatsby First Edition: Sold for $200,000 at Cannes Dinner at amfAR

By

 Shantanu Parmar

 -

Saturday, 17 July 2021, 09:33 EDT

 

We have all heard about the book called as The Great Gatsby. It is a legendary novel by a legendary author F. Scott Fitzgerald. It seems that recently the first edition of the book was sold at the Cannes Dinner auction for a whopping $200,000. So, how did this come to happen?

Well, the entire event happened at the Cannes Dinner. This event marks the end of the Cannes film festival. It is filled with dinner where rich people sit and bidding happens after  a fashion show. This is where they bid on things such as dresses made by amazing designers such as Versace, Balenciaga and Givenchy. In the previous auction which coulnd not take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number were not that good and hence the pressure was felt this time to make sure that this was a successful event.

Before we move to the deal that we are talking about, let us find out about why the importance of Cannes amfAR dinner has been falling. This is because of a scandal that had allegedly taken place. The previous chairman was accused was said to have funnelled about $600,000 to one Mr. Harvey Weinstein.

The theme of the night was The Great Gatsby. Hence to keep in light with the theme Sharon Stone sought to auction off the first edition of the book. But, this was not any first edition. It was the first edition which was signed by two of the protagonists of the movie adaptation. Yes, you heard that right, it was signed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Redford.

Not only this, it also came with some perks of itself. It featured the cufflinks that these two men had worn. Moreover, it also featured a lunch with Ms. Sto

Great Gatsby is back in fashion

No film makes you ache for summer more than The Great Gatsby. In Newport, Rhode Island, where I spent my summers growing up, Gatsby's legacy is alive and well. Those huge white palaces (or 'cottages', as they're known locally) are still there, including Rosecliff, which doubled as Gatsby's house for the 1974 film. Tennis 'whites' are still required if you're on court, and the cocktails and the socialising are as potent as they ever were.
My affection for the book began when I first read it at 16, and despite an instant dislike for Daisy, my selfish, careless namesake, I chose it as the theme for my debutante coming-out party (yes, they still exist) the following summer. It was as big as any wedding extravaganza, beginning with the invitations, which came in boxes with colourful boas for the girls and sparkly bow ties for the boys. Our driveway was lined with a collection of 1920s Studebakers, Ford Model Ts and Chrysler Imperials, and guests were offered a glass of champagne to sip as they made their way past the cars to the party. My parents invited 150 people for a seated dinner at our house, which was decorated with enormous stands of black and white flowers, sparklers and pearls. A further 250 came to dance under a full moon to two jazz bands; there were even cigarette girls and a doughnut-making machine. Most of my friends stayed reasonably in control, except for my cousin Gigi, who got so 'tired and emotional' that she fell into the band and had to spend the night in the 'sleeping tent' that my parents had thoughtfully erected for just such an eventuality. Prohibition was long gone but we were still underage and fortified ourselves with surreptitious shots of vodka and cigarettes. The shots made me tipsy but really intoxicating was the knowledge that I had all the best parts of my life in front of me. I felt like Nick Carraway at the start of the story: 'It had been a golden afternoon… I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.'
First published in 1925, F Scott Fitzgerald's novel, which encapsulates the aimlessness hidden behind a smokescreen of opulence that was the roaring Twenties, only became truly popular after his death in 1940. But still it was not until the 1974 film, starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow and Sam Waterston, that the visual language of Gatsby and the term 'Gatsbyesque' came into existence. People are never more intrigued by the tale than in times of financial strife, when the excesses of the past become so rose-tinted. The film launched during the throes of a major recession, the oil crisis of 1973 was choking the USA and inflation had hit an all-time high. Now, with the world desperately clambering out of a global recession and oil prices soaring again, Baz Luhrmann, the man behind Moulin Rouge, is helming a lavish 3D remake starring Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hayley Atwell and Tobey Maguire. Luhrmann certainly sees the similarities between the rise and fall of Gatsby and our recent economic troubles, and considers it a good way to teach us a lesson: 'If you tell people, "You've been drunk on money," they're not going to want to see it. But if you reflect that mirror on another time, they're willing to.'
Designers have consistently used Gatsby as a reference point. This season once again there are languid silk pyjamas at Rochas, just made for a sultry night spent sipping gin-spiked lemonade, and Chanel has black and white numbers that are perfect to slip into after a late game of tennis. Stella McCartney has given girls Gatsby's three-piece white suits, while Roksanda Ilincic tapped Daisy herself, wrapping her models in layers and layers of romantic chiffon. Phillip Lim has a turquoise tunic dress with a jaunty collar, perfectly suited to the tomboyish athlete Jordan Baker, and Erdem's floaty floral dresses in vibrant greens and yellows on white are just the thing for a spot of croquet.

It's not just designers and directors who have a thing for Gatsby.
Sigourney Weaver took her first name from the book: 'An act of desperation because I didn't like being called Susie.' Marc Jacobs is so obsessed that 'both my dog and my perfume are named after my favourite literary character Daisy Buchanan'. Even Hugh Hefner, still a fast-living playboy in his eighties, says it's his favourite novel, and Brad Pitt and David Beckham have aped Gatsby's style for the red carpet. For die-hard fans, there is now an online game where you can go on your own hunt for Gatsby at his party, dodging menacing waiters, drunks throwing bottles, and flappers doing the Charleston, winning points by downing Martinis along the way.
But there is one famous face who loves Fitzgerald so much that at times she seems like the reincarnation of Zelda herself. Kate Moss is so obsessed with the legend of the Fitzgeralds that her long-suffering fiancé Jamie Hince tried desperately to track down Zelda's diamond engagement ring with which to propose to her. He only managed a copy, but what could be more perfect for the girl who once confided that she is obsessed by Gatsby (Marianne Faithfull introduced her to the book) despite its unhappy ending: 'I know,' she said. 'But it was the whole lifestyle, the whole thing.' And who can forget her extravagant Beautiful and Damned-themed 30th birthday party at Claridge's a few years ago? The evening allegedly descended into the kind of decadence not seen since Fitzgerald's day; Moss, a vision in a blue sequined dress, with smouldering eyes and curly golden tresses, had struck the perfect note of the Lost Generation's tragic glamour.

Now once again summer is just around the corner and with it comes that perpetual promise of a glittering Gatsby- esque future for us all.

Photos


“Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story”


By Keith Loria
If you’ve read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby” or seen either the 1974 movie starring Robert Redford or the 2013 remake with Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Jay Gatsby, you probably think you know the true story of who Gatsby was.
But a new documentary entitled “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” will tell the real story and answer the question, “Who was the real Jay Gatsby?”
The documentary, which will be available on DVD and streaming services on Sept. 1, also reveals that Fitzgerald’s inspiration for the story’s setting of West Egg was really Westport and not Long Island as many assumed.
The film also acts as a companion piece with the book “Boats Against the Current,” written by the documentary’s producer, Richard “Deej” Webb Jr.
Presented by Vision Films and Against The Grain Productions, “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” is directed by Robert Steven Williams and features actor Sam Waterston, who starred as Nick Carraway in Redford’s version of the movie.
“Sam is a longtime Connecticut resident and I had a friend who knew him well and reached out to him and ask if he would take a tour of the Fitzgerald house, and interestingly enough, he didn’t know anything about the Fitzgeralds in Westport,” Williams says. “He came down and spent the entire day there because he was so fascinated by the house.”
Fairfield’s own Keir Dullea, who starred as astronaut David Bomwan in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” narrates the film.
“Keir is another local and we have done work together before,” Williams says. “He’s an icon and people know him for 2001, but he actually played Fitzgerald in a one-person play off-Broadway in the early ’90s. I was very fortunate both Sam and Keir gave of their time and they generally found the project fascinating.”
The film was inspired by an article written by Barbara Probst Solomon that appeared in an edition of the New Yorker in 1996, which explored the theory that Westport was the true inspiration for the locale of the story.
Williams’ film shines a brighter light on Probst’s theory, as he attempts to show it’s true through his research into Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s life and their love of Westport, looking at the untold story of the Fitzgeralds living in Connecticut. Bobbie Lanahan, the couple’s granddaughter, appears in the documentary and she herself is amazed at the findings.
“I started with this about seven years ago,” said Williams, who lives in Westport. “I had just written a novel and I decided to promote the novel by celebrating the town’s rich cultural history. I did a literary roundtable at the Westport Historical Society and I had [Richard] present some Fitzgerald stuff.”
By the end, numerous people came up to Williams telling him they had no idea about any of Fitzgerald’s association with the area and that made him start thinking.
“I called the guy who did the presentation up and told him I wanted to do a short, three-month project, maybe a 10-minute film for the Historical Society so the next generation doesn’t forget that the Fitzgeralds even lived here,” Williams says. “He thought it was a great idea and that’s how we started.”
The more Williams researched, the more intrigued he became. By the time he came across Solomon’s article, and saw the similarities between the Westport houses and the Gatsby mansion she wrote about, he was convinced the film had to be more.
“Along the way, we uncovered academic secrets and a lawsuit to stop the leading Fitzgerald scholar from rewriting parts of Gatsby,” Williams says. “Most important, we were able to bring to life an overlooked period of Scott and Zelda’s that had a profound impact on their lives including their art, the novels, their love.”
The reason it took seven years was because it took time to build confidence with the Fitzgerald community to reveal some of their secrets. There was skepticism among many Gatsby scholars, and some even actively tried to stop the information from coming out.
“It took a long time for anyone to admit that maybe what Barbara wrote was a possibility,” Williams says. “It was really important to create trust with the community and let people finally feel comfortable with sharing things they didn’t want to actually say.”
The movie also has some great music in it, which Williams says reflects Fitzgerald’s love of jazz.
At a time when there are a lot of crazy things going on in the world, Williams feels the film is the perfect escape.
“The opportunity to spend an hour or so in the world of Scott and Zelda is a great escape,” he says. “You don’t have to be a lover of history or literature. It’s a really fun ride because it’s such an interesting time. It’s also one of America’s most beloved novels, something we’ve all read. It’s an incredible commentary on how hard it is to achieve the American Dream.”
“Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” will be available Sept. 1, on DVD from all major online retailers and on digital for an SRP of $4.99 to $9.99 from platforms including iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox, Amazon, and FandangoNow, as well as cable affiliates everywhere.


Film claims Westport is the real inspiration for West Egg in ‘The Great Gatsby’




By Keith Loria
If you’ve read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby” or seen either the 1974 movie starring Robert Redford or the 2013 remake with Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Jay Gatsby, you probably think you know the true story of who Gatsby was.
But a new documentary entitled “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” will tell the real story and answer the question, “Who was the real Jay Gatsby?”
The documentary, which will be available on DVD and streaming services on Sept. 1, also reveals that Fitzgerald’s inspiration for the story’s setting of West Egg was really Westport and not Long Island as many assumed.
The film also acts as a companion piece with the book “Boats Against the Current,” written by the documentary’s producer, Richard “Deej” Webb Jr.
Presented by Vision Films and Against The Grain Productions, “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” is directed by Robert Steven Williams and features actor Sam Waterston, who starred as Nick Carraway in Redford’s version of the movie.
“Sam is a longtime Connecticut resident and I had a friend who knew him well and reached out to him and ask if he would take a tour of the Fitzgerald house, and interestingly enough, he didn’t know anything about the Fitzgeralds in Westport,” Williams says. “He came down and spent the entire day there because he was so fascinated by the house.”
Fairfield’s own Keir Dullea, who starred as astronaut David Bomwan in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” narrates the film.
“Keir is another local and we have done work together before,” Williams says. “He’s an icon and people know him for 2001, but he actually played Fitzgerald in a one-person play off-Broadway in the early ’90s. I was very fortunate both Sam and Keir gave of their time and they generally found the project fascinating.”
The film was inspired by an article written by Barbara Probst Solomon that appeared in an edition of the New Yorker in 1996, which explored the theory that Westport was the true inspiration for the locale of the story.
Williams’ film shines a brighter light on Probst’s theory, as he attempts to show it’s true through his research into Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s life and their love of Westport, looking at the untold story of the Fitzgeralds living in Connecticut. Bobbie Lanahan, the couple’s granddaughter, appears in the documentary and she herself is amazed at the findings.
“I started with this about seven years ago,” said Williams, who lives in Westport. “I had just written a novel and I decided to promote the novel by celebrating the town’s rich cultural history. I did a literary roundtable at the Westport Historical Society and I had [Richard] present some Fitzgerald stuff.”
By the end, numerous people came up to Williams telling him they had no idea about any of Fitzgerald’s association with the area and that made him start thinking.
“I called the guy who did the presentation up and told him I wanted to do a short, three-month project, maybe a 10-minute film for the Historical Society so the next generation doesn’t forget that the Fitzgeralds even lived here,” Williams says. “He thought it was a great idea and that’s how we started.”
The more Williams researched, the more intrigued he became. By the time he came across Solomon’s article, and saw the similarities between the Westport houses and the Gatsby mansion she wrote about, he was convinced the film had to be more.
“Along the way, we uncovered academic secrets and a lawsuit to stop the leading Fitzgerald scholar from rewriting parts of Gatsby,” Williams says. “Most important, we were able to bring to life an overlooked period of Scott and Zelda’s that had a profound impact on their lives including their art, the novels, their love.”
The reason it took seven years was because it took time to build confidence with the Fitzgerald community to reveal some of their secrets. There was skepticism among many Gatsby scholars, and some even actively tried to stop the information from coming out.
“It took a long time for anyone to admit that maybe what Barbara wrote was a possibility,” Williams says. “It was really important to create trust with the community and let people finally feel comfortable with sharing things they didn’t want to actually say.”
The movie also has some great music in it, which Williams says reflects Fitzgerald’s love of jazz.
At a time when there are a lot of crazy things going on in the world, Williams feels the film is the perfect escape.
“The opportunity to spend an hour or so in the world of Scott and Zelda is a great escape,” he says. “You don’t have to be a lover of history or literature. It’s a really fun ride because it’s such an interesting time. It’s also one of America’s most beloved novels, something we’ve all read. It’s an incredible commentary on how hard it is to achieve the American Dream.”
“Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” will be available Sept. 1, on DVD from all major online retailers and on digital for an SRP of $4.99 to $9.99 from platforms including iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox, Amazon, and FandangoNow, as well as cable affiliates everywhere.