Zelda Fitzgerald. Writer. Dancer. The first American flapper, at least according to her husband, famed author F. Scott Fitzgerald; Zelda also struggled hard with mental illness, all the while becoming an icon of the 1920s. As you can probably already piece together, she was an intellectual, an eccentric, a lover of good parties, and so much more. Let’s take a look at some things that make Zelda, well, Zelda.
Zelda. Was. Wild.
Good or bad attention, it didn’t matter, as long as she was the center of it. Zelda notoriously smoke, drank, and snuck out of her parent’s house to meet up with boys, all of which were frowned upon during this time, and with her Dad being a prominent lawyer in Montgomery, Zelda was often at the center of the local gossip. For instance, word got around that she swam in the nude, which frankly, sounds very Zelda-like, whether she did or not, she did make sure she owned a nude-colored bathing suit just to keep the rumors going. Friends described her as fearless, daring, and attention seeking, but her oftentimes wild behavior, like jumping in fountains fully clothed became a symbol of the times.
The Marriage? Toxic.
Alcoholism, infidelity, and jealousy were just a few of the many components that made this marriage a disaster. The Fitzgeralds were known for drinking too much and having horrible fights behind closed doors, in fact, it was uncommon for them to get kicked out of whatever hotel they were staying at. Zelda also suffered a number of nervous breakdowns throughout their marriage, and while they never officially divorced, they were estranged at the time of her death.
She Mastered the Arts
As a child, Zelda loved to dance but didn’t exactly make it her top priority for a number of years; however, during her late-20s the couple found themselves living in France where Zelda decided to begin training to become a professional dancer. Unfortunately, Zelda was forced to give up on this dream after suffering a mental breakdown in 1930. Her love of the arts didn’t stop at dancing though, painting and writing were her two big creative outlets during her time at a number of different mental hospitals.
If you’ve been wondering this whole time whether or not The Legend of Zelda has anything to do with Zelda Fitzgerald, the answer is, yes. Shigeru Miyamoto needed a solid name for his heroine, and he liked the way her name sounded, and history was made. Zelda is also the inspiration behind The Eagle’s “Witchy Woman” and she inspired a line of ice cream by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams back in 2013.
A Tragic Fate
Zelda passed away on March 10, 1948, but by no means necessary was her death peaceful. At this time, Zelda was staying at Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, and on this particular day a fire reportedly broke out in the kitchen. When the fire broke out, Zelda lay in a room, sedated, awaiting the electroshock therapy she was scheduled for. The fire spread rapidly by way of the dumbwaiter shaft and Zelda, along with eight other women, met their fate that day. She was only 47 years old.