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Ten facts about The Great Gatsby

Published on Thursday 15 November, 2012

In preparation for the production we’re all learning a lot about the book and the roaring 20s so thought I'd share some facts I've learned so far..

Martha Leebolt & Tobias Batley. Photo Jason Tozer.
  • One alternate title for the book was, Under the Red, White, and Blue
  • Dance crazes of the time included the Charleston and the Shimmy
  • Slang of the era...
    Slang Translation
    broads, dames, bims & dolls   women
    bulls a plain-clothed police officer
    boiler or bucket a car
    dewdropper an unemployed man who sleeps all day
      More 20s slang from
  • Men were known for wearing plus fours which were smart, over the knee shorts
  • Zelda, Fitzgerald’s wife, refused to marry him until he had a firm financial footing. It only took him  serving in the Army, moving to New York in 1919 and having his first success with This Side of Paradise before she finally agreed.
  • The book was banned in American schools after being challenged in 1987 by the Baptist College in Charleston, South Carolina for "...language and sexual references in the book..."
  • Only the first chapter of The Great Gatsby was written in New York, the majority he wrote in the south of France and revisions in Rome
  • Four line poem at the beginning of the book entitled Then Wear the Gold Hat was credited to Thomas Parke D’Invilliers. He never actually existed and was a character from Fitzgerald’s first novel - This Side of Paradise.
  • Because of prohibition alcohol was illegal in the US at the time which led to bootlegging
  • Hunter S Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, retyped The Great Gatsby just to get the feel of writing styles and how writing a novel was like

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other facts about The Great Gatsby worth sharing.

Communications Officer: PR and digital media

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.


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