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MONTGOMERY: ZELDA AND F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

F. Scott Fitzgerald
         F. Scott Fitzgerald

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald
     Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

I keep the light burning on your desk so I'll think you're there when I wake up, but then it's awful to have to turn it out when it's day.

Zelda to Scott Fitzgerald in a letter of November 11, 1931, from Montgomery.

On October 8, 1931, the Montgomery Advertiser announced with a headline: Scott Fitzgeralds to Spend Winter Here Writing Books. The paper heralded the return of the former Zelda Sayre, daughter of prominent Judge A.D. Sayre, after the Jazz Age couple's extended tour of Europe, "where they have spent two years, gathering color for their writings." The Advertiser kindly overlooked Zelda's discharge from Prangins Clinic in Switzerland one month earlier following prolonged treatment for her first "breakdown."

Fitzgerald House Museum on Felder in Montgomery. Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald occupied the house during the Fall, 1931, in the Old Cloverdale section of Montgomery.The famous couple leased a home at 919 Felder near Zelda's parents. By November, Scott had accepted a job in Hollywood and left Zelda with their ten year old daughter Scottie in the Felder house. Zelda endured the death of her father, a major Alabama political figure, in November, 1931, with surprising resilience and she made preparations for Scott's homecoming at Christmas. In her daily letters to Scott, Zelda wrote poetically of the Zelda and Scott FitzgeraldMontgomery house and the Alabama autumn: The weather here is a continual circus day -- smoky with the sun like a red balloon and soft and romantic and sensual.

In the Montgomery house, Zelda outlined her book about a marriage in breakdown: Save Me the Waltz with a heroine named Alabama. At the same time, Scott wrote his own novel about a destructive marriage amidst European settings: Tender Is The Night. The intense, emotional competition that erupted between the doomed writers became the subject of Tennessee Williams's final play: Clothes for a Summer Hotel. But while they occupied the house on Felder, Zelda's feelings for Scott remained true to their legendary love affair. Her letter from Montgomery to Hollywood in December, 1931, said, Scottie is so sweet and darling and the house is so pleasant and I have everything in the world except you.

Left: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald

  

   

  Washington Square - Painting by Zelda Fitzgerald (Courtesy of  F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum)
                       Washington Square
Calla Lillies - Painting by Zelda Fitzgerald (Courtesy of  F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum)
Calla Lillies
Mad Tea Party - Painting by Zelda Fitzgerald (Courtesy of  F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum)
Mad Tea Party
Hope - Painting by Zelda Fitzgerald (Courtesy of  F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum)
Hope                
 
  Photos of Zelda Fitzgerald's Paintings, Courtesy of F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum  
 

The home of Montgomery's greatest romantics is now the Fitzgerald Museum, containing some of Zelda's paintings. Her delicate imprints linger everywhere from the shadows of her Old Cloverdale neighborhood to the marble steps of the Alabama Capitol downtown. On those steps, Zelda and her childhood friend Tallulah Bankhead often staged "dramas," ranging from political satires to cartwheels and delighting their surprised audiences of Old South politicians.

  Home in Montgomery's Old Cloverdale district near the Fitzgerald House.
Alabama Capitol steps where Zelda Sayre and Tallulah Bankhead, childhood friends, presented "dramas."
Home in Montgomery's Old Cloverdale district near the Fitzgerald House.  
 

Home in Montgomery's Old Cloverdale district
near the Fitzgerald House

Alabama Capitol steps where Zelda Sayre & Tallulah
Bankhead, childhood friends, presented "dramas"

Home in Montgomery's Old Cloverdale district
near the Fitzgerald House

 

 

  Encyclopedia of Alabama

For more information on Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, link here to their listing in the Encyclopedia of Alabama supported by the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

> F. Scott Fitzgerald
> Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Alabama Humanities Foundation  


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