It took F. Scott Fitzgerald nearly a decade to finish Tender is the Night, his semi-autobiographical novel about the physical, financial, and moral decline of a man with nearly limitless potential. While working on the novel, Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, moved between France, Switzerland, and the United States, eventually spending eighteen months at La Paix, an old country house north of Baltimore that he rented while Zelda was treated for schizophrenia at a nearby clinic. The Turnbull family owned the estate, and Andrew Turnbull, who was 11 at the time, later recounted Fitzgerald’s stay in his biography, Scott Fitzgerald.
While at La Paix, Fitzgerald worked in dark, disheveled rooms with a bottle of gin in a nearby drawer. He took short walks and came back to hand-write his ideas on notepads scattered on his desk. He also loved to sneak the Turnbulls’ homemade wine.
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