With the release of Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby only a month away, we are fully getting into the 1920s swing of things (as is US Vogue, check out these beautiful pictures of Carey Mulligan, who plays Daisy Buchanan, in the current issue)
Reading: Two brilliant books. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler (Two Roads, £17.99) transports you to the decade of decadence that was the roaring Twenties – and the literary royalty that was F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Beautiful, dazzling, doomed – they drank and danced their way to the end of their, ultimately tragic, love story. Gloriously imagined – it sweeps you into the heart of Zelda and Scott’s relationship and gives a voice to the woman who is so often remembered not for her own work (Save Me the Waltz) but her antics and breakdown.
I must also insist that you pick up The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Virago, £7). Told from the perspective of Hadley Richardson – the shy, intelligent woman who captivated Ernest Hemingway, and became his first wife. Set mainly in 1920s Paris, it is a heady whirl of a book, interweaving known facts with fictional creativity. (Oh, the scene where Hadley leaves Hemingway’s manuscripts on the train….) She’s a wonderful character – one to fall in love with – and you can totally see what women saw in Hemingway.
Watching: My words could never do justice to the sheer genius of PG Wodehouse, a man who is, by many, considered to be the greatest comic author of the 20th century. High praise indeed. If you haven’t read any of his work, then stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and head straight to the library/bookshop and pick up a tome. You could start with this or maybe this. Whether you have read any of his Jeeves stories or not, you will still enjoy watching Jeeves and Wooster, the 1990s TV series starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry at their finest. Hilarious, beautifully costumed and fabulously acted, it’s like sunshine on your screen (in a good way)
Planning: a trip to Harrods‘ twenties themed cocktail bar. Open for just a few weeks (9th-20th May) in honour of the release of The Great Gatsby, there’ll be an art deco decor, cocktails and, on the 10th May, a jazz band, canapes and cocktail-mixing masterclass (for tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Coveting: This ‘right out of Gatsby’s bachelor pad’ tripod lamp. It’s contemporary, yes, but there’s just something about its jaunty nautical air that speaks to us of the GG. (£199, made.com). Add a bevelled mirror to balance the Scott with a bit of Zelda!
IMAGES: Mario Testino for Vogue;