Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2012

Ernest Hemingway and Agnes von Kurowsky

Agnes Hannah von Kurowsky was a tall dark haired girl from Washington D.C. She was a dutiful daughter and for two years stayed home and nursed her ailing widower father.
When he died in 1910 she took a job at the Washington Public Library but soon became bored and applied to become a nurse at Bellevue Hospital. She was accepted.
Agnes was kind, generous and bright, full of energy, and fond of people, she made an excellent nurse.
With America's entry into World War One in 1917 she applied to join the Red Cross Nursing Service, and in late June 1918 sailed for Europe. After some additional training in France, Agnes and her companions were sent by train to Northern Italy where they were dispersed to various hospitals.
Agnes was assigned to the Ospedale Croce Rossa Americana, at 10 Via Alessandro, Manzoni, Milano. She soon settled into the beautiful old hospital - which had once been a large family home at the time of Garibaldi's uprising - with its ivy covered stone walls and big oak…

Ernest Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald meet and Go On A Trip, Paris 1925

In Hemingway's memoir, A Moveable Feast, he describes the first time he met F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Dingo Bar on the rue Delambre where, as Hemingway describes it, "...a very strange thing happened."
As Hemingway was sitting and drinking with some "completely worthless characters," Fitzgerald came in with a tall young man who turned out to be the famous baseball pitcher, Dunc Chaplin. Hemingway was no baseball devotee and had never heard of Chaplin, but recognised Fitzgerald, and took this chance to introduce himself, which went something like this:

Ernest Hemingway's Courts Martial During World War Two

Colonel Clarence C. Park, Inspector General of Patton's Third Army, was sitting at his desk in what had been a private dining room of a small hotel in Nancy, Northern France, near the German border.
All the hotels in Nancy had been taken over by the US military, and the one Park and his staff found themselves in was an early 19th century stone building with imposing views to east and west, and a proprietor who looked after them as if they were family. Park lit a Lucky Strike and poured another cup of strong black coffee - knowing full well his blood pressure would rise as a result - and read again the order he was about to send to Ernest Hemingway:

Ernest Hemingway and World War Two

Ernest Hemingway likened the New Orleans built LCVPs (Landing Craft Vehicles & Personnel) to "damned iron bathtubs" as his own LCVP - commanded by a young US Navy Lieutenant, Robert Anderson - headed relentlessly toward the increasingly smoke-shrouded Omaha Beach as a deadly assortment of high-explosive shells (fired from the guns of the old First World War battleships Texas, Arkansas, and Nevada) screamed overhead.
As Hemingway observed the beach activity through his field-glasses the pain in his head was excruciating. It was his own fault, he knew that, but to have gone back into hospital to have the fifty-seven stitches removed, as the doctor advised, would have meant missing the invasion.
And as he watched the almost continuous explosions of shells from the battleships hitting the German positions Hemingway vowed never again to take a car ride in a blacked-out London, especially with someone whose driving skills had proven to be inferior to their drinking skills. When …

Ernest Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War

During the spring of 1937 Paris became the great staging area for journalists on their way to the Spanish Civil War, and a centre for thousands of disaffected artists and intellectuals, mainly from Germany and Italy, who had no intention of going anywhere further south than a cafe table on the Boulevard du Montparnasse.
After arriving in Paris with the bullfighter, Sidney Franklin, Ernest Hemingway spent most of his time at the American Embassy trying to persuade the rather bored representative of the State Department to issue Franklin with a visa for Spain. Hemingway told the bullfighter not to worry, that everything would be okay.  Disappointed, the two men then headed for a lunch date with the journalist Janet Flanner, and her lesbian lover, Solita Solano (one time theatre critic, Sarah Wilkinson) at La Coupole. Flanner always remembered that Franklin, because of a recent goring in Mexico, sat rather gingerly on the edge of his chair as he pecked, like some small exotic bird, at…