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The Hemingway Women Paperback – 6 Jan 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 556 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; New Ed edition (6 Jan. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393318354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393318357
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 421,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Absorbing... Hemingway's life [becomes] a symphony of movements defined by the women he loved." -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
"From my earliest days with EH," wrote Major General Charles T. Lanham (USA., Ret.) about his friend Ernest Hemingway, "he always referred to his mother as 'that bitch.' Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By S A Dodsworth on 4 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am three quarters in to this book which I am thoroughly enjoying---Yes its all about Ernest Hemingway but it also reflects on the life of a lot of men who become entwined with other women, & not just any woman, for the man may have had several relationships within his marriage, but at some point a woman will enter his life & he will not be able to move forward without her, there will be a power which takes over & the push pull between the two women will take over.The man will leave his marriage just as Hemingway left Hadley Richardson & their young son.
This is a good read & especially if you are interested in the lives of great writers.

Another interesting relationship is this one:
Anais Nin the writer had a long relationship [10yrs] with Henry Miller whilst married to Hugo Guiler, she managed to keep her marriage, & eventually married Rupert Pole bigamously. With two husbands on different coasts of America she kept both marriages going, & the husbands who loved her only met up & discovered each other at her funeral.
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By joanne hillsdon on 14 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant book, arrived quickly
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A revealing light on the life of a writer and his muses 12 April 2000
By Mariano L. Bernardez - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book, written with style and interest, is a sound ,balanced and well documented research on the lives and marriages of Ernst Hemingway with this four wives , Hadley Richardson (portayed in A Moveable Feast), Pauline Pfeiffer (Green Hills of Africa), Martha Gelhorn -a writer herself- (The fifth column) and Mary Welsh (A dangerous summer), inteligently ilustrated, amusing and covering also his famous lovers: Adriana Ivancich (his Renata in Across the river and under the trees) and Jane Kendall Mason (Brett Ashley herself in the Sun Also Rises) and the affairs that ended and started his marriages leaving a lasting pattern in his literature. It's an amusing and interesting book for those who love, hate or ignore Hemingway. It also explores his difficult and influencing relationship with his mother.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By Anne Salazar - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is as much fun to read as a great novel and has all the ingredients of a great read, as they say: love, hate, success, adventure, etc. For the most part, Ernest Hemingway is remembered as a mans's man, an adventurer who loved bullfights, safaris, hunting, shooting, fishing. But at heart he was a man who needed to be taken care of, but resented every woman who tried. All of his wives were from the same basic mold: adverturers and writers (was Hadley a writer?) and all of them wanted nothing more than to be with this exciting man who loved and adored her. That is, until they got married. Then the fun for him was over and he resented being taken care of by a woman who he thought of as a sex object, and he couldn't fathom that they might be able to cohabit the same body. In his letters he pleads for his women to always love him and take care of him, but in reality he resented them for doing just that. He admired Martha Gellhorn, the wife with by far the most spunk, for being a good journalist, until they were married. He wanted her to stay home with him, but she resisted his control. So what does he do? He meets another journalist, Mary Welsh, and immediately, on first sight, falls in love with her and begs for her to take care of him and to always love him. Which she did. And he immediately hated her for it. And it destroyed her.

It is so ironic that the man who professed to hate his father for committing suicide (albeit blaming his mother for it) would in the end take his own life. Of course, by that time he was a shell of the adventurer/writer/lover, and was beset by illness, both psychiatric and otherwise, none of which he would allow treatment for.

Although Hemingway lived and loved in the early to mid 1900s, it seems a long time ago; the world has changed so much! No longer do we see artists and writers living as paupers in France, as expats and proud of it! It was a different time and place, to be sure. But it's fun to read about.

I have not read a lot of Hemingway's novels (The Old Man and the Sea enthralled me when I first read it), but you don't have to be familiar with his writing to love the man and this book. This book, like no other biography I have read, shows the man through the eyes of the women he loved, and resented, and ultimately betrayed, beginning with his mother and continuing on through four wives and several beautiful women who he chased and wooed but for various reasons never made lasting connections with. Please read this book. It is important and entertaining and scholarly all at once.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Insight to Hemingway 19 Jan. 2002
By maureen horvath - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bernice Kert has given me my first true understanding of who Hemingway was and why he did the things he did. His choice of women, more so the women he married and the woman who gave birth to him are phsycoanalysis at it best. I now see the "Peter Pan" in Hemingway, not the masculine adventurer,hunter and "man's man". I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it highly.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A captivating read 9 Jan. 2012
By ShoeLovr - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was inspired to read this book after reading The Paris Wife. Hadley Richardson was such an interesting woman in her own right, and reading The Paris Wife made me want to read about the other three wives and what they were like. What I loved most about this book was the picture it paints of Hemingway himself. He could be a real brute, but at the same time what a fascinatingly flawed human being. Nothing I didn't love about this book. Very well written and hard to put down.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Nice reference. 14 July 2008
By Bruce Oksol - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Update after second reading: Author obtained primary material from the subjects themselves; this may be the most important "new" biography of Hemingway to date. Highly recommend it after you've read earlier biographies of Hemingway; this can be read as first bio of Hemingway, but I think you will enjoy it more if you've read others first.

Earlier review: This book will save you the trouble of reading the autobiographies, the biographies, and selected letters of Ernest Hemingway and these five women (his mother and four wives).

But you will enjoy reading the autobiographies and selected letters first, and then coming back to this book to fill in the gaps.

The writing is stilted -- often reads like a PowerPoint presentation -- compared to the writing actually done by its subjects. Specifically, "How It Was" by Mary Welsh Hemingway is a joy to read, and I recommend that before reading "Hemingway Women."

As a reference to fill in the gaps, this is an important book for the Hemingway fan(atic).
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