Sandra Spanier and Robert W. Trogdon, editors
THE LETTERS OF ERNEST HEMINGWAY
Volume One: 1907–1922
Everything he loved in life, and lost, 1934–1961
"Gee I’m afraid I wont be good for anything after this war!”, Ernest Hemingway wrote to his parents in September 1918. He was recuperating at an Alpine hotel on Lake Maggiore, having been granted leave from the military hospital where he was undergoing “electrical treatments” on his severely wounded legs. “All I know now is war”, the nineteen-year-old continued. “Everything else seems like a dream.”...
The prediction that war was all he knew was less reckless than it sounded at the time, however. Hemingway died fifty years ago, shooting himself in the head in the early morning of July 2, 1961, at the house he shared with his fourth wife, Mary Welsh, in Ketchum, Idaho. The last ten years of the marriage, which began in 1946, had been marked by insult, paranoia and violence. “It is more than a year since he actually hit me”, Mary told her husband’s publisher, Charles Scribner, in 1950. An entry in her journal for October 1951 says: “E. followed me to my bathroom and spit in my face”. The information that follows is almost as startling: “Next day he gave me $200”.