Zelda Sayre to F. Scott Fitzgerald - classic love letter, famous love letter, and classic letters of love
Zelda Sayre to F. Scott Fitzgerald
Spring 1919

     Please, please don't be so depressed--We'll be married soon, and then these lonesome nights will be over forever--and until we are, I am loving, loving every tiny minute of the day and night--
     Maybe you won't understand this, but sometimes when I miss you most, it's hardest to write--and you always know when I make myself--Just the ache of it all--and I can't tell you.
     If we were together, you'd feel how strong it is--you're so sweet when you're melancholy. I love your sad tenderness--when I've hurt you--That's one of the reasons I could never be sorry for our quarrels--and they bothered you so-- Those dear, dear little fusses, when I always tried so hard to make you kiss and forget--
     Scott--there's nothing in all the world I want but you--and your precious love--All the materials things are nothing.
     I'd just hate to live a sordid, colorless existence-because you'd soon love me less--and less--and I'd do anything--anything--to keep your heart for my own--I don't want to live--I want to love first, and live incidentally...
     Don't--don't ever think of the things you can't give me--You've trusted me with the dearest heart of all--and it's so damn much more than anybody else in all the world has ever had--
     How can you think deliberately of life without me--If you should die--O Darling--darling Scott--It'd be like going blind...I'd have no purpose in life--just a pretty--decoration.
     Don't you think I was made for you? I feel like you had me ordered--and I was delivered to you--to be worn--I want you to wear me, like a watch--charm or a button hole bouquet--to the world.
     And then, when we're alone, I want to help--to know that you can't do anything without me...
     All my heart--
     I love you

Fitzgeralds When she met F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda was the popular, daring belle of the county, and every young man aspired to win her heart. When Scott's novel This Side of Paradise was published in 1920, it made him an overnight star and they married. Their first years together were some of the most colorful and decadent of The Jazz Age. Zelda became the American image of the flapper, symbolizing the revolution in manners, morals, and values of the post-war era. In 1924, the golden couple seemed to be at their peak-living like royalty on the French Riviera, while Scott worked on The Great Gatsby. There they met a dashing French aviator with whom Zelda began to have an affair. When he was transferred, many believe that Zelda began her descent into madness.

Zelda became increasingly jealous of women she suspected of having affairs with Scott. Her eccentric behavior grew more disturbed. During this time, Zelda rediscovered her love for dance and joined a ballet troupe. Although she was too old to be a prima ballerina, she trained for years and had her first nervous breakdown as a result of the physical and mental stress. After her second breakdown, she began her only novel, Save Me the Waltz. Scott, who was writing Tender is the Night, drew from the same experiences Zelda had used. She was deeply wounded upon discovering that Scott's novel mercilessly exposed her mental illness. The break-up of their marriage came quickly; after a decade of fame and high living, they faced the grim realities of alcoholism, mental illness, infidelity, and literary rivalry.

Eventually diagnosed as schizophrenic, Zelda spent much of the remainder of her life in institutions. Gradually developing symptoms of religious mania and suicidal depression, Zelda began painting for therapeutic purposes. Out of Scott's shadow, she was an accomplished artist in her own right, focusing on dancing, writing and painting.

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