"There are few more memorable wives in twentieth-century American culture than Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, who was married to the successful young author F. Scott Fitzgerald."
There are few more memorable wives in twentieth-century American culture than Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, who was married to the successful young author F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1920. His first novel, This Side of Paradise, had appeared a few weeks before their marriage. Because of his popularization of the Jazz Age, complete with its New York partying, elite college society, and alcohol, dancing, and flappers, readers tend to place his beautiful bride with the exotic name—Zelda—within those fictional contexts. In reality, Zelda Sayre had never been to New York City until she went there, accompanied by her older married sister, to wed Fitzgerald. Neither had she been abroad, nor had she gone to college. In fact, she had seldom spent a night away from her father’s house. Zelda Sayre was in fact a Montgomery, Alabama, girl, whose father was a judge there in the state capitol. But more than that, Zelda Sayre was a highly visible southern belle, soon to be immortalized in literature as the essence of the early-twentieth-century’s thoroughly modern American woman.