Les Enfants Terribles |# It’s Lit

WordPress is a force to be reckoned with, and it certainly doesn’t like English students who want to separate their content into “Academic Analysis” and “Controversial Readings and Weird Facts That Maria Cannot Keep To Herself.” The best I can do is put my posts under their own tag. #It’sLit

Lately, I’ve been reading Sarah Churchwell’s fascinating biography “Careless People”, which depicts the lives of the notorious Fitzgeralds in glittering detail. Described as “un enfant terrible”, F Scott Fitzgerald has gone down in history as a god-like figure of jazz age excess, and this book is an as absorbing a narrative as it is a factual account of his and Zelda’s Dionysian pastimes. I really recommend getting your hands on a copy if you’re studying The Great Gatsby either at AS or as a part of your coursework. I’ve compiled a few facts about the Fitzgeralds which will provide you with some slightly lesser known context for your essays. Do drop us a comment if you know anymore.


  • Zelda and Scott would ride around on taxi cabs. Not in them. On them. Like on the roof.


  • Zelda was seen as the first “flapper” girl. She drank, smoked, and wore short skirts, which in her era was seen as outrageous. She also famously jumped fully clothed into a fountain in New York, making her the perfect “permanently eccentric” inspiration for many of her husband’s female characters.


  • The Fitzgeralds are known as a 20s power couple, but their relationship was actually very rocky. They cheated on each other multiple times, and consistently accused each other of stealing the other’s writing. Zelda’s only novel “Save Me The Waltz” is said to have “inspired” some of Scott’s “Tender is the night.”


  • Zelda dreamed of being a dancer, and trained in ballet obsessively up until her breakdown. Zelda was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which at the time was an umbrella term applied to anxiety, delusion and manic depressive behaviors.  She was admitted to hospital in her later life, where she tragically died in a fire.