Page 102. " about something tragic that happened to them at St-Raphael about a year ago "
Zelda Fitzgerald, 1922
Public DomainZelda Fitzgerald, 1922 - Credit: Metropolitan Magazine

Valescure near St. Raphael in France was where Scott Fitzgerald wrote the majority of The Great Gatsby, over the summer and autumn of 1924. Although general opinion seems to corroborate Hemingway's version of the story, the extent of Zelda's relationship with the French naval aviator is not known. 

The Great Gatsby on Book Drum

Page 104. " Michael Arlen's books "

Michael Arlen (1895-1956) was born as Dikran Kouyoumdjian to an Armenian family in Bulgaria. Moving to England in 1901, Arlen's works about 1920s England -- which closely resembled his own lifestyle -- captured the mood of the era. However, whilst Fitzgerald's novels, particularly The Great Gatsby (see 'Bookmark' for page 88), have enjoyed enduring popularity for their portrayal of the Jazz Age, Arlen has faded into relative obscurity. He found major success with the 1924 publication of The Green Hat, which was subsequently adapted for Broadway, the West End and the big screen.



Page 105. " It had a garish dust jacket and I remember being embarrassed by the violence, bad taste and slippery look of it. "

The Original Jacket
Public DomainThe Original Jacket
Little is known about Francis Cugat (or F. Coradal-Cugat), the artist responsible for the initial cover design of The Great Gatsby. He was born in Spain in 1893 and raised in Cuba, subsequently taking a job in Hollywood as a designer for Douglas Fairbanks. He has not been linked to any other published works. Yet, his painting for the dust jacket of Fitzgerald's novel has become one of the most widely discussed in history. Although the cover design was dropped after the first edition (1925), it was reinstated in 1979 for the 'Scribner Library' paperback edition.



Page 107. " to speak like Lady Diana Manners when she grew up "

Wife of the first Viscount Norwich, Lady Diana Cooper -- born Lady Diana Olivia Winifred Maud Manners in 1892 -- was an English actress and socialite. She was one of the more famous members of the group of aristocratic intellectuals known in the 1910s as 'The Coterie'.






Page 109. " he wrote one good story, 'The Rich Boy' "

'The Rich Boy' was originally printed as a two-part story in Red Book Magazine (January and February, 1926), which paid Fitzgerald the rather impressive sum of $3,500. The piece was then included in Scott's third collection of short stories, All the Sad Young Men (Scribner, 1926). 


Page 111. " a dramatization of The Great Gatsby which was running well and it would sell to the movies "

The stage version of The Great Gatsby opened at New York's Ambassador Theatre on 2 February, 1926. As Hemingway points out, the dramatisation of the book -- which made disappointing sales despite its rave reviews -- paved the way for film adaptation. Herbert Brenon directed the first movie, which was shot the same year.

Director Herbert Brenon with actress Alla Nazimova
Public DomainDirector Herbert Brenon with actress Alla Nazimova - Credit: Library of Congress


Page 111. " just a small party, the MacLeishes, the Murphys, the Fitzgeralds "

American poet, writer and Librarian of CongressArchibald MacLeish (1892-1982) married Ada Taylor Hitchcock in June 1918. Moving to the French capital in September 1923, Archibald and Ada MacLeish hoped to cultivate successful careers as a poet and a professional singer respectively. It was whilst in Paris that they met Hemingway, beginning what has been described as 'a long and close though difficult friendship.' Archibald MacLeish was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.


Gerald (1888-1964) and Sara (1883-1975) Murphy were wealthy expatriates who had married in New York City and moved to Paris in 1921. Once there, Gerald took up painting, and it was through his art that he started to make connections with the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Later, the couple moved to the French Riviera, where they frequently entertained large circles of their artistic and literary friends; it was for these associations that they were most noted.

The characters Nicole and Dick Diver in Fitzgerald's novel Tender is the Night are thought to be based on the pair, and many similarities are also drawn between them and Hemingway's couple in The Garden of Eden.


Page 111. " 'Ernest, don't you think Al Jolson is greater than Jesus?' "

American jazz and blues singer Al Jolson (1886-1950) became the highest paid performer of the 1930s. Hugely popular during his lifetime, he is probably best remembered for his leading role in The Jazz Singer (1927) -- the first full-length feature film with synchronized dialogue.

Listen on Spotify: I'm sitting on top of the world     Swanee     Toot toot tootsie goo'bye


Page 111. " Scott did not write anything any more that was good until after he knew that she was insane. "

Zelda was first institutionalised in France in 1930, where she came under the care of a Dr. Forel. Realising that Zelda -- like her husband -- harboured creative desires, Forel urged her to write about her thoughts and memories, the record of which still exists. Zelda was released in 1931 with the diagnosis of schizophrenia, and although she resumed the painting endeavours she had enjoyed before her breakdown, it is easy to see how her works may have subsequently slipped into the category of 'therapy', rather than standing in their own right.

In 1932 Zelda was once again admitted into an asylum, this time to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. During her first six weeks there she produced an entire novel: Save Me the Waltz, which was published by Scribner in October of the same year. Scott was apparently enraged upon reading the semi-autobiographical manuscript, as the initial copy infringed on material he was already using for the novel Tender is the Night (1934).

The majority of Zelda's remaining years were spent in mental institutions. Scott placed her in Asheville's Highland Hospital (North Carolina) in 1936, a facility to which she repeatedly returned. She passed away there in March, 1948, in a fire that claimed the lives of eight other women. For more on the relationship between Scott and Zelda see bookmark for page 88: 'Zelda, his wife'.

Page 115. " I remember you and the Baron von Blixen "

Swedish-born writer Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke (1886-1946) married his Danish second-cousin Karen Blixen in 1913. Also a writer, Karen is more widely known by the pen name Isak Dinesen, and is perhaps most famous for her memoir, Out of Africa (1937), which was also adapted for film in 1985. She married the Baron following a failed relationship with his twin-brother, Hans.

In 1914 the Blixens moved to Kenya where they bought a coffee plantation. Bror -- an accomplished huntsman -- also ran a safari business, which catered to high-profile clients. However following Bror's infidelity the couple separated in 1921 and were divorced four years later. The Baron returned to Sweden in 1938 and was killed in a car crash at the age of 59.


Page 115. " She wrote perhaps the best book about Africa that I ever read. Except Sir Samuel Baker's book on the Nile tributaries of Abyssinia. "
Sir Samuel Baker on Lake Albert N'yanza
Public DomainSir Samuel Baker on Lake Albert N'yanza - Credit: From Africa illustrated - New York Public Library

Amongst his many foreign titles, British explorer and writer Sir Samuel White Baker (1821-1893) occupied the position of Governor-General of the Equatorial Nile Basin between 1869 and 1873. His numerous adventures -- spanning Europe, Asia, and Africa, to name but a few -- provided the material for a great number of books and articles. The Nile Tributaries Of Abyssinia was published in 1867. 

Page 117. " as the Austrian schilling went down with inflation "
Austro-hungarian infantry regiment
Public DomainAustro-hungarian infantry regiment - Credit: Schuhmann, Heinrich (sen.)

The outcome of World War I not only constituted a loss for Austria, which had fought against the Allies on the side of the Central Powers, but also signalled the dissolution of the once formidable Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

Although the country did not fare as badly as Germany under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, it still suffered major losses in terms of both territory and finances. Wartime expense, reparation payments and inflation quickly left the Austrian economy teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Salvation came in the form of a loan from the League of Nations.


Page 118. " Herr Walther Lent who was a pioneer high-mountain skier and at one time had been a partner with Hannes Schneider, the great Arlberg skier "

Known as the Father of Modern Skiing, Austrian-born Johann Schneider (1890-1955) was a pioneer of alpine skiing. The instruction method he developed whilst working as a ski guide in St. Anton became known as the Arlberg Technique, and it influenced the sport the world over. Schneider also appeared in a number of ski films by Dr. Arnold Fanck.

Page 120. " We drank together and we all sang mountain songs. "

Yodeling, or 'juchzn' in Austrian, was a form of song originally developed in the Alps as a way of communicating from one mountain to another. However, it soon became part of the region's traditional folk culture. Schrammelmusik, which incorporates the accordion and the double-necked guitar, is another form of Austrian folk music that became popular in the late nineteenth century, and still endures today. 


Page 120. " One Christmas there was a play by Hans Sachs that the school master directed. "

Hans Sachs
Public DomainHans Sachs - Credit: Hugo Bürkner
Born to a tailor in Nuremberg, poet and playwright Hans Sachs (1494-1576) trained as a shoemaker before becoming one of Germany's mastersingers ('Meistersinger'). He produced more than 6,000 works during his lifetime.

Page 120. " came to give a lecture on the Battle of Jutland "

Considered as the only major naval battle of World War One, the Battle of Jutland took place between 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea off the coast of Jutland in Denmark. The British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, led by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, greatly outnumbered the German Navy's High Seas Fleet.  However, both sides experienced heavy loses and both claimed victory. Jellicoe was subsequently criticised for his handling of the battle.

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Page 124. " deader than the roots of any grass Attila's horses' hooves have ever scoured "

Attila was the notoriously barbaric ruler of the nomadic war-like people know as the Huns. Under his leadership, from 434 until his death in 453, the Huns amassed a vast empire across Europe.


Page 125. " the Corrected Hydrographic Office Sailing Directions for the Mediterranean, say, or the tables in the Brown Nautical Almanac. "
Horizontal and vertical coordinates
Public DomainHorizontal and vertical coordinates - Credit: W!B:

Existing for more than 200 years, the UK's Hydrographic Office supplies reliable nautical maps and navigational assistance for the purposes of global shipping. There are a number of hydrographic organisations world-wide.

Brown's Nautical Almanac -- first brought to press in 1877 and still produced today -- is a commercial publication providing information to facilitate celestial navigation.

Page 125. " an unmarried young woman becomes the temporary best friend of another young woman who is married "

Pauline and Ernest Hemingway, 1927
Public DomainPauline and Ernest Hemingway, 1927 - Credit: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection
The woman in question is, of course, Pauline Pfeiffer, who became Hemingway's second wife. Hailing from a wealthy background, Pauline married Hemingway in 1927 and gave him two sons, Patrick and Gregory.

The couple divorced in 1940.

Ernest and Pauline Hemingway, 1927
Public DomainErnest and Pauline Hemingway, 1927 - Credit: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection