WASHINGTON -- "The Great Gatsby" movie may not be getting terrific reviews, but it has sparked big interest in F. Scott Fitzgerald -- including the writer's final resting spot.
Spoiler alert: the grave is inscribed with the book's last lines:
The Washington Post reports that since the film's opening sent "Gatsby" up Amazon's bestsellers list, it's also led to a surge in visitors coming by F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's graves, in suburban Maryland.
“We usually see a handful of people visiting the cemetery in a given week,” Rev. Monsignor Robert Amey of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where the couple is buried, told the Post. “That number has tripled in the last week.”
The Post -- which details Fitzgerald's familial connections with Maryland -- notes that many visitors leave graveside offerings, including "flowers, spare change and liquor. Aspiring authors leave pens, and admirers occasionally write handwritten notes. A top hat, adorned with a martini glass ribbon, is the most recent addition."
The Baltimore house where Fitzgerald lived and wrote -- though it's not where "The Great Gatsby" was produced -- went on the market earlier this year for $450,000. Be (modestly) bullish on Fitzgerald: The house sold after about two months for $464,000.
Want to visit F. Scott's and Zelda's graves for yourself? They're in Rockville, Md., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church (520 Veirs Mill Rd., Rockville, Md.).
While in Rockville, you can also visit the Rockville Union Cemetery, the cemetery where the Fitzgeralds were first buried.
Here's Patch's description of why the couple wasn't in St. Mary's to begin with:
Montgomery County Historical Society archives state that Fitzgerald died in 1940 in Hollywood, Calif. in his lover’s apartment, a woman named Sheilah Graham. Because of his adulterous relationship and party lifestyle, the Catholic Church denied F. Scott the rite to be buried on consecrated ground in the family plot at Saint Mary’s. F. Scott had wanted to be buried with his parents, but instead he was buried in a small Protestant cemetery called Rockville Union Cemetery, located about two miles from Saint Mary’s. Zelda’s casket was later placed in the same grave, on top of her husband’s casket.
35 years after first rejecting F. Scott's interment, St. Mary's accepted both Fitzgeralds. Patch dug up a newspaper report from the time which quotes a county official calling the reburial "the longest Irish wake in history."
And here's the Baltimore house:
Flickr photo by rpongsag, used under a Creative Commons license.