So who was Ginevra King? She was a major Chicago socialite who ultimately married an heir to the Texaco oil fortune named Bill Mitchell, who, if we’re following this line of reasoning, could have inspired Tom Buchanan. According to the aforementioned letters, he saw her quite a lot; various mentions include “Nobody home and midnight frolic with Ginevra” in 1915, “Lake Forest … Petting party. Ginevra” in 1916, “Final break with Ginevra” in early 1917 and then, later that year, a more ominous entry: “Ginevra engaged?”
As Luhrmann’s co-writer Craig Pearce told The Chicago Tribune when the letters were released, one line from “The Great Gatsby” tells you everything you need to know about Ginevra King — specifically, one focusing on “careless” rich people who “smashed up things … then retreated back into their money.” The “thing” Ginevra King smashed up was, undoubtedly, Fitzgerald’s heart.
“Actually, that line about ‘retreating back into their money’ is pretty much the essence of (‘The Great Gatsby’),” Pearce told the Tribune. “It’s ultimately what Fitzgerald was communicating and why Ginevra King is very much present in everything about ‘The Great Gatsby:’ Just as Gatsby was rejected (by Daisy) and poor, Fitzgerald was rejected and poor, then re-created himself.”