Cover image for Hemingway in love and war : the lost diary of Agnes von Kurowsky, her letters and correspondence of Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway in love and war : the lost diary of Agnes von Kurowsky, her letters and correspondence of Ernest Hemingway
Von Kurowsky, Agnes.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Northeastern University Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xiv, 303 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.E37 Z915 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Offers a perspective on Hemingway's experiences in World War I.

Author Notes

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in the family home in Oak Park, Ill., on July 21, 1899. In high school, Hemingway enjoyed working on The Trapeze, his school newspaper, where he wrote his first articles. Upon graduation in the spring of 1917, Hemingway took a job as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star.

After a short stint in the U.S. Army as a volunteer Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy, Hemingway moved to Paris, and it was here that Hemingway began his well-documented career as a novelist. Hemingway's first collection of short stories and vignettes, entitled In Our Time, was published in 1925. His first major novel, The Sun Also Rises, the story of American and English expatriates in Paris and on excursion to Pamplona, immediately established him as one of the great prose stylists and preeminent writers of his time. In this book, Hemingway quotes Gertrude Stein, "You are all a lost generation," thereby labeling himself and other expatriate writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, and Ford Madox Ford.

Other novels written by Hemingway include: A Farewell To Arms, the story, based in part on Hemingway's life, of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse; For Whom the Bell Tolls, the story of an American who fought, loved, and died with the guerrillas in the mountains of Spain; and To Have and Have Not, about an honest man forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West. Non-fiction includes Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway's lyrical journal of a month on safari in East Africa; and A Moveable Feast, his recollections of Paris in the Roaring 20s. In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his novella, The Old Man and the Sea.

A year after being hospitalized for uncontrolled high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes, and depression, Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.

(Bowker Author Biography) Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He is one of the towering authors of the twentieth century.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

While the enigma of Hemingway's life and its relationship to his fiction may never be entirely resolved, the publication of Agnes von Kurowsky's captivating diary, the 52 letters to "Kid" Hemingway that by and large postdate her personal entries, and the reminiscences of Henry Villard, who knew them both, do much to squelch idle speculation and to greatly illuminate the events that transpired in Italy during that formative period of Hemingway's life--the basis for many of his short stories and for A Farewell to Arms. In exposing the relationship between Hemingway and von Kurowsky, who has been acknowledged as the inspiration behind Catherine in Farewell, this fastidiously constructed volume proves an informative chronicle about the Red Cross presence in World War I Italy and a touching revelation of young love acquired and lost--of interest not only to the earnest Hemingway scholar or historian, but to any curious reader as well. Notes, bibliography; index. --Ivy Burrowes

Publisher's Weekly Review

This collaborative volume, which sorts out the facts behind A Farewell to Arms , contains the ``emotionally restricted'' diary of von Kurowsky, the American nurse with whom Hemingway fell in love in a Milan hospital in 1918; her effusively affectionate and concerned 52 letters to him; 14 of his idealistic letters to his family, which disclose a good deal about his forceful, exuberant personality; and hospital reminiscences by Villard, one of his fellow-patients. In a detailed study, Nagel, English professor at Northeastern, discusses how Hemingway's romanticized Farewell differs from his actual experiences. The material assembled here, most of which has not been previously published, contradicts the assertions of Hemingway's major biographers about his military service and war wounds. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

This fascinating volume will prove useful to Hemingway scholars and interesting to the general reader. Benefiting from the collaboration of Henry Villard, who was hospitalized with Hemingway during WW I, and James Nagel, a Hemingway authority, it yields valuable new information about the war wounds and subsequent hospital experiences that formed much of the biographical basis of A Farewell to Arms. The book comprises a memoir by Villard about his own experiences as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy, the hitherto unpublished diary of Agnes von Kurowsky (the prototype for Catherine Barkley), 52 letters from Von Kurowsky to Hemingway (8, including the famous "Dear John," published for the first time), correspondence from Hemingway in Italy to his family, photographs, and even X-rays of Hemingway's wounded legs. Nagel concludes with a long essay assessing the significance of this material. Providing as it does so much previously unavailable biographical information plus background and interpretation helpful in illuminating its place in Hemingway studies, this welcome book deserves a place in every academic and public library. Notes; index provided. B. H. Leeds Central Connecticut State University