I never knew about Ernest Hemingway’s wives and was very interested in learning about his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson and their six-year marriage, spent mostly in Paris, where they immersed themselves in the world of the Lost Generation and mingled with famous writers, poets and artists.
It was during this time that Hemingway made his name as a writer, first with short stories and ultimately with his first novel The Sun Also Rises. Having recently read The Sun Also Rises, I was also interested in knowing the actual story of Hemingway and his pack of friends who traveled to Pamplona, Spain to watch the annual running of the bulls and bullfights. It is an amazingly similar cast of characters.
I liked drawing the comparisons, which was easy to do, and I liked seeing Ernest and Hadley meet up with Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and other lesser-known writers on the scene.
I think the author did a very good job reflecting the mood of the era, which included heavy drinking, aimless travel, and senseless dialogue that simmered with an angry undercurrent.
I also liked learning about Hemingway’s writing schedule and how many times he reviewed and edited his work. I imagine he was very difficult to live with and it must have been hard for Hadley to be around so many creative types and rich and stylish tag-alongs, without being either fashionable or a serious artist or writer herself.
I didn’t check, but this account seems to be true to the facts and the whole book an enjoyable read.
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