‘Call me Zelda’: writers take on troubled life of F Scott Fitzgerald’s muse | Books | The Observer
The high (or low) lights of the Fitzgeralds’ turbulent marriage included Zelda’s romantic entanglement on the Riviera with a French pilot, her suspicions that Fitzgerald was having a sexual relationship with Ernest Hemingway, and accusations on both sides that the other had “plagiarised” their life. Cline points to an exchange between Scott and Zelda in 1933, while Zelda was being treated in hospital for mental illness, recorded by her doctor. The author apparently attempted to prevent his wife from writing about their marriage and her mental illness – subjects he was dealing with himself in his own novel, Tender is the Night. He describes her writing efforts as “third rate”, while she accuses him of relying on her “crumbs” for material for his writing. When Zelda published her novel, Save Me the Waltz, it infuriated Scott through its use of autobiographical material he hoped to use.