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Hemingway mss. III, 1895-1934

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lilly Library
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961

Hemingway mss. III, 1895-1934

Collection No.
LMC 1487

77 items

Materials are in English.

The Hemingway mss. III, 1895-1934, collection consists of letters written by primarily Ernest Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline (Pfeiffer) Hemingway, 1895-1951, to the Hemingway family at Oak Park, Illinois.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Ernest Hemingway was born and raised in Cicero (now Oak Park), Illinois. He began his writing career as a journalist for the Kansas City Star and served as an ambulance driver in World War One, during which he rescued an Italian soldier while seriously wounded and received the Italian Silver Medal for Military Valor. In the 1920s he became part of the "Lost Generation" of American expatriates living in Paris, where he wrote his first novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926). Other important literary works by Hemingway include A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), the Pulitzer Prize winning The Old Man and the Sea (1951), and the posthumous A Moveable Feast (1964). Hemingway served as a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. In 1954, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of the art of narrative...and for the influence he has exerted on contemporary style." Hemingway died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961.

Scope and Content Note

The earliest letter is that of his father, Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, 1871-1928, physician, addressed to a member of the Agassiz Society while he was on a trip to Scotland in 1895. The first letter by Ernest Hemingway is a childhood scribble in crayon with an explanatory note by his mother, Grace Ernestine (Hall) Hemingway. Letters and cards in 1910 and 1917 refer to vacations in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and work experience on the farm in northern Michigan. After a brief stint as a newspaper reporter on the Kansas City Star in 1917 and 1918, Ernest joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps and sailed for Europe. Wounded in Italy (for which he received a citation and so sketched in a letter of Nov. 11, 1918), he wrote home frequently of his experiences while recuperating. His letter of July 21, 1918, bears a self-cartoon of the injured Hemingway. Married to Hadley Richardson in 1921, Hemingway then spent some time in Paris and Europe with his wife and son John Hadley Nicanor. While there on May 7, 1924, he wrote to his family about the return of five copies of In Our Time by his mother to the publisher. Divorced in 1927, he married in the same year Pauline Pfeiffer. Pauline continued the family correspondence writing of the births of her sons, Patrick and Gregory, of travels to Key West, to Montana (where Ernest was hospitalized following an automobile accident), and on January 23, 1934, about a safari in Africa. In 1929 and 1930 Hemingway wrote from Paris and Madrid concerning the family financial situation in Oak Park.

Other correspondents include: Theodore B. Brumback, C.E. Frazer Clark, Jr., Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway, Pauline (Pfeiffer) Hemingway, Charles H. Hopkins, Hadley (Richardson) Hemingway Mowrer, Roman (?) Williams.

A photograph of the Hemingway family in January, 1906; a Red Cross leaflet, ca. 1918, reporting the recuperation of the wounded Hemingway; an Oak Leaves obituary in 1926 of Hemingway's grandfather, Anson Tyler Hemingway; and a snapshot of the plaque designating Windermere (in northern Michigan) as a historical site in 1968, complete the collection.

Some of the correspondence has been partially published, quoted or paraphrased in several sources. The letters of Nov. 1 and 11, 1918, have been translated into Italian and published in Americani sul Grappa (Lilly D629 .I8 A5) on pages 211-221.

Related Material

Hemingway mss. I; also located at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Hemingway mss. II; also located at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Acquired: 1979
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Hemingway mss. III, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Processing Information
Processed by Staff.

Completed in 2013

Hemingway mss. III

Box 1 Correspondence: 1895-1917

Correspondence: 1918

Correspondence: 1919-1930

Correspondence: 1931-1934

Correspondence: undated

Printed: Red Cross leaflet, ca. 1918;  Oak Leaves reprint, 1926;  photograph of Windemere plaque, 1973 

Photograph: Hemingway family, 1906