I have never been able to forgive the rich for being rich." It was not money for its own sake he envied, but the ability to not have to try, to take things for granted, that real wealth bestowed - the thing Gatsby, his most famous creation, so desperately tried to ape.
He viewed such beings with, he wrote, the "smouldering hatred of a peasant". I drive into lake." Increasingly frustrated, he moved his family to Great Neck, New York, a wealthy enclave of the new rich on Long Island that would provide the inspiration for Gatsby's West Egg.
The Fitzgeralds played to a fantastical notion of themselves, losing sight of the reality, that they were a couple of limited means. Here, they rented a house and Scott worked on The Great Gatsby, although he failed to finish it, unsurprising given that he was working in a house one of whose rules was "visitors are required not to break down doors in search of liquor." It was decided that the family would move to France, and in 1924 the pair set sail with their daughter Scottie.
"We tried to manage without a butler, but Zelda cut her wrist on a can of baked beans," he recalled. Of course, this being Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, France meant Paris and the Riviera, the Cap d'Antibes, Cole Porter, Hemingway, Picasso and Chanel, the clubs of Montmartre and the Left Bank.
going to a party, one of them on the roof of the taxi and the other on the hood." In his essay My Lost City, Fitzgerald, with typical nostalgic wistfulness, describes a taxi ride through New York where "I began to bawl because I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again." All around were new possibilities, at least for the wealthy.
But the Fitzgeralds didn't have the huge wealth that shored up many of their contemporaries.
Scott and Zelda's persona as the golden couple of the Jazz Age was merely one facet of a marriage that would suffer alcoholism, mental illness and infidelity, and which would end with the pair separated, Fitzgerald an unemployed alcoholic living in Hollywood, Zelda a long-term inhabitant of psychiatric institutions who would die in her sleep eight years after her husband, in a fire in the hospital she was then living in.
Like Gatsby and Daisy, F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre first met during the First World War; he was an officer in training, having left Princeton after unsuccessful academic results.
Zelda was the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice, the prettiest belle in Montgomery, Alabama.
"I've fallen in love with a whirlwind," declared Scott after the pair's first meeting at a country club dance.
but now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail…