Sarah and Gerald camping on the beach - The Murphy's?
Hi Mary! Yes, indeed. The Sarah and Gerald cited in the novel are the Murphys, who, as you know, provided the inspiration for the characters of Dick and Nicole Diver in Tender Is The Night. The Murphys lived in a fabled Hamptons mansion, set on over six hundred acres, called The Dunes, and were a core element of the Hamptons society in which Serena Lyons lived.
In fact, the vast majority of names mentioned in the party scenes and applied to certain characters - The Wiborgs, Halseys, Cooks, Astors, Adams, etc - were culled from the research I undertook into the Hamptons of that era, including Serena Lyons herself. The house that inspired the book was used in the 1930s by one Mrs. Edward Lyon (as you also know, Serena is married to Captain Edward Lyons), to host a Friday gathering called The Leisure Hour Supper Club. By citing real people, I wanted to convey an air of authenticity to the story, so that the reader truly feels as if they are attending a party in the Hamptons on the evening of September 21st, 1938.