HEMINGWAY, ERNEST. Two autograph letters signed ("E. Hemingstein" and "E. Hemingway") TO HIS THIRD WIFE MARTHA GELLHORN ("Dear Marty," "Dearest Mook"), New York, n.d. [probably January or February] 1937 [the year written in, probably by Martha Gellhorn], and n.p. [Normandy] 6 August 1944. Together 10 pages, 8vo and small 8vo, both in pencil, the first on stationery of The Barclay hotel in New York, the second on six sheets of tan graph paper, a few marginal paper-clip rust stains on the first letter.
ERNEST TO MARTHA
Hemingway first met the young Martha Gellhorn (a 28-year-old correspondent and author of two books), who would become his third wife, when she, her mother, and her brother wandered into the Key West bar Sloppy Joe's in December 1936. A strong friendship between Hemingway and the Gellhorns quickly developed, with Martha staying on in Key West after her mother and brother went home to St. Louis. In 1937 Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn were both in Spain covering the Civil War and the romantic relationship between them intensified (she was the model for the girl in his play about the conflict, The Fifth Column). After Hemingway was divorced by his second wife Pauline, he and Martha were married (in Cheyenne, on 21 November 1940). The previous month the hugely successful For Whom the Bell Tolls -- dedicated to Martha -- was published. Material concerning Hemingway's marriage to Gellhorn rarely comes onto the market and his two letters to Martha in this lot -- apparently the only ones surviving -- and the ten letters to her mother Edna (with whom Hemingway maintained a close friendship) in the following five lots offers unusual documentation regarding this difficult relationship.
[probably Jan. or Feb.] 1937: "No it wasn't me in the book [the unrevised manuscript of To Have and Have Not] and that is what made me cheerful about it and you were smart to see it. You're being awfully good damned good to me writing letters when you know I'm alone in the lousy town and if you for Christ sake get over it now before I start thinking of you as something permanent like the horses in the fountain of the Place de L'Observatoire or the Lion de Belfort that Bumby [his eldest son] saw, out of a dead sleep, coming back from Austria one time in a taxi from the gare and I said 'what's that Bum?' and he said 'Le Lion de Belfort, a good friend and an old friend'...I think the real reason I have to go to Spain [for the Civil War] is what the hell Jesus Christ lets not talk politics...But if they have [?improved] war any and I can describe it accurately I can scare people here in U.S. enough to keep us maybe out -- The Uncle Tom's Cabin boys occupy Saragossa or Harry Beecher Stowe at the front. And Marty if you want to be a man in this or the next world that is fine and I'll swear you are to you whenever it hits you because I am crazy enough myself to understand a good healthy streak of insanity in a pal...but either be a man or a woman or nothing or a writer but don't joke about Fairies because I don't believe in Fairies and I do believe, largely by accident and certainly with pleasure, in you and remain, and rest, and remain again your old lecturer at Bryn Mawr [Gellhorn's college] and former plantoon commander, now dead, I mean missing..."
6 August 1944 (in Normandy as a war correspondent with Allied forces and probably written from Mont St.-Michel; Hemingway's liaison with Mary Welsh, who would be his fourth wife, was now some two months old; Martha was on assignment as a correspondent in Italy): "...Am so glad you are happy and haveing [sic] a fine time and getting some sun. Am sure you will get good stories too and anyway liveing [sic] and being happy is better than stories. Please take everything I say straight and do not read in hidden meanings nor insults...We captured a Mercedes Benz staff car and have it running like a Rolls Royce although the steering column was shot through and wiring shot up...Day before yest. while in advance of infantry I got knocked down by a tank shell -- enemy tank then fired on us and on me playing dead by road with machine gun. Threw dirt all over head and cut leaves from hedge all over helmet. They also had at least 2 machine pistols in cross fire on each side of road. Two Germans crawled up to hedge and could hear them talking. Was quite a time...If we had not run into that place first they would have killed many people. Am very good at imitating a dead [man] under such circumstances...Think instead of piece will write short stories of life in [the infantry] Division. Have good ones and will write them and cable them...The stuff is too wonderful to write as journalism...So I will just write the stories as well as I can. Please do not think I have been being a crazy. Have been working very close to the bull but everything have done has been useful...I am going to stay with it [the Division]. I don't care about being the first into any place nor about 'the story.' Would rather be with those who do the fighting in some useful capacity and then go home finally and write book & be buried in a good country like France which have always loved very much anyway and see and love better than ever did before. Only hope I can write as well about it as I should...E. Hemingway, War Correspondent." None of the Hemingway letters in this and the following lots are in Letters, ed. C. Baker, and all are presumed to be unpublished.
THESE TWO ARE APPARENTLY THE ONLY EXTANT HEMINGWAY LETTERS TO MARTHA GELLHORN (all others reported to have been destroyed). (2)