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For $16.5M: Estate That May Have Inspired Fitzgerald's Gatsby.


It's a long shot, but there are reasons to believe this Lake Forest mansion and estate grounds made an inspirational contribution to the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Chiefly, Fitzgerald's first confirmed love interest lived here: Ginevra King, daughter of wealthy banker Charles Garfield King for whom architect Howard Van Doren Shaw built the comely spread. Fitzgerald is thought to have modeled Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan on the younger King, as well as characters in the author's other works. The long-distance romance was stopped in its tracks after several months by King's engagement and a father who famously uttered to Fitzgerald: "Poor boys shouldn't think of marrying rich girls."

If there's a chain of causality involving these life experiences and the course of Fitzgerald's work, it could be limited to personalities and desires without any physical input from the listed property. But the historical link is there (more than a whiff), and who wouldn't want to own those bragging rights? The 7,424-sqaure-foot home and an 8-acre belt of greenspace was available in 2007-09 for as low as $4.9M, but now an entire 45-acre "farm" has joined in, raising the ask to $16.5M. It's admittedly a little silly calling this land 'farm'— historically that may have been so, but its overgrown lawns, marsh, and pond emphasize scenery and little else. Might it have been Fitzgerald's "introduction to the good life," as the listing claims? Perhaps, and it can definitely be yours.
·Listing: 210 S Ridge Road, Lake Forest [Coldwell Banker]
·Ginevra King, Fitzgerald's 'Gatsby' Inspiration and His First Love [Huff Po]