She was famous for being famous before it was a “thing.” Dubbed “the First American Flapper,” Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald embodied the Roaring Twenties. Speeding down 5th Avenue on the roofs of cabs, leaping fully-clothed into fountains, and dancing on random folks’ table tops, Zelda’s exploits were made for Page Six.
She was the kind of girl that climbed on the roof, then phoned the fire department to come rescue her; the kind of rebellious teen who courted scandal by swimming in a nude-colored bathing suit. But, that was just a warm up- preparation for her starring role as high priestess of the Jazz Age.
Relinquishing local celebrity in Montgomery, Alabama to marry would-be author F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda was ready to conquer New York. With the runaway success of her husband’s novel “This Side of Paradise” the newlywed Fitzgeralds were propelled to Jen and Brad mega-watt stardom. But, we all know how that ended, and Zelda and Scott’s fairy-tale collapsed just as spectacularly, too.
Struggling to forge an identity beyond the wife of a celebrated literary icon, Zelda pursued dancing, writing, and painting. But heavy drinking, jealously, and mental instability plagued the once “golden” couple. Despite publishing four novels, Scott died a “failure” and Zelda became “that crazy bitch” who kept her husband from reaching his full, creative potential.
But was she really the Lost Generation’s answer to Yoko Ono, or simply a misunderstood muse? Listen, and decide for yourself.
What's that you say? You want more? Then, check out these History Bitch approved biographies for extra dish on Zelda:
The History Bitch
Podcaster, tea aficionado, Anglophile, 'Game of Thrones' enthusiast.