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F Scott Fitzgerald
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By Sheila Schwartz
Scott Fitzgerald’s fame and reputation have increased with every decade since his untimely death in 1940. This new biography studies a literary life that began with such glittering promise yet ended in despair.
Born into a well-heeled family his early life was was one of achievement and anxiety. The success of his first novel This Side of Paradise, gave Scott Fitzgerald both celebrity and financial independence, this enabled him to marry his ‘golden girl’, Zelda Sayre. They became the quintessential couple of the ‘Jazz Age’, so named by Scott Fitzgerald.
The heady and exciting years of the Twenties before the Wall Street Crash ushered in the first Great Depression. Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald were two of the epoch’s most enthusiastic protagonists. They became leaders among the American expatriate community in Paris and on the French Riviera their most notable but tempestuous friendship was with Ernest Hemingway. Tragically the glamour and decadence of their early married years would dissolve into an alcohol-induced schizophrenia for Zelda that would seal her in a sanatorium until the end of her life, and a precarious life in Hollywood that would end in an early death by heart attack for Scott Fitzgerald. This finely honed biography closely follows the autobiographical elements in his novels Tender is the Night and The Beautiful and the Damned, as well as considering the enduring critical reputation and popularity of Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel The Great Gatsby.