Letters reveal romance of 'Great Gatsby' author

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The Independent Culture

A diary and letters written by the debutante regarded as F Scott Fitzgerald's first love have been donated to Princeton University.

The writings were given by descendants of Ginevra King, often viewed as the model for such characters as Rosalind Connage and Isabelle Borge in This Side of Paradise and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.

Don Skemer, curator of manuscripts at the Princeton University Library, said: "For Fitzgerald, she was more of an archetype: the representation of the wealthy, cool, aloof woman who was key to the American dream."

The romance began in 1915, when Fitzgerald was a 19-year-old at Princeton and King, three years his junior, attended Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut. They met in Fitzgerald's home town of St Paul, Minnesota, where King was visiting her Westover room-mate during Christmas break.

They began an intense epistolary romance, although "they didn't see each other very much, and when they did they were chaperoned", said Matthew J Bruccoli, professor of English and curator of the F Scott Fitzgerald collection at the University of South Carolina. "The romance was far more literary than it was physical or actual."