Brief Life of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, a community outside of Chicago. His father, Clarence, was a medical doctor, and his mother, Grace, gave piano and voice lessons. The family spent summers in Upper Michigan, where Ernest was able to indulge his passion for fishing.

After his graduation from high school in 1917, Hemingway worked for awhile in Kansas City as a reporter for the Star. He wanted to enlist in the army during WWI, but his eyesight prevented that. Instead, Ernest drove ambulance for the Red Cross near the Italian front. He was himself wounded on July 8, 1918 and spent months in hospital convalescing.

Hemingway returned to the U.S., a bit of a local hero in Oak Park. He then went back to reporting, and, in 1921, he met, courted, and married Hadley Richardson of St. Louis. Upon the advice of Sherwood Anderson, the couple went to live in Paris. Ernest was working for the Toronto Star, and they were also living off Hadley's inheritance. But he was also polishing his fiction, and it was during this period of 1921-1926 that Ernest established his writing, especially the style that made him unique and very influential. His first volume of short stories, In Our Time, published in 1925, well illustrates his style. His memoirs of that period, published posthumously in 1964 under the title A Moveable Feast, are a wonderful and revealing personal account of the writers and artists and culture and life and times of Paris in the 1920s.

Ernest and Hadley had a son, John (nicknamed "Bumby"), in October 1923. The young family toured a lot of Europe, skiing in the winter and hiking various parts of central Europe. Also, during the summers, beginning in 1923, the Hemingways would travel to Spain for the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. These Spanish experiences provided the material for his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, published in 1926.

It was also during 1926 that Hemingway's marriage to Hadley broke up, after he had met the wealthy Pauline Pfeiffer. Ernest and Pauline were married in 1927, and they had two more sons: Patrick in 1928, and Gregory in 1931. It was during his marriage to Pauline that Ernest bought a house in Key West, Florida.

In the late 1930s, Hemingway met and fell in love with Martha Gellhorn, herself a journalist and writer. The two were married in 1940. Ernest purchased the Finca Vigia in Cuba. In 1944, he met and fell in love with Mary Welsh, divorcing Martha in 1945 and marrying Mary in 1946.

Not only a popular writer but also a Twentieth-century celebrity, Ernest Hemingway's enduring works are In Our Time, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, The Green Hills of Africa, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, and A Moveable Feast, plus numerous short stories.

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Timeline of Ernest Hemingway in Paris

This table is based on the one in Michael Reynolds's Hemingway: The Paris Years (Blackwell, 1989), volume 2 of his biography of Hemingway.



December 20 Hemingways arrive in Paris and stay at the Hotel Jacob, now the Hotel D'Angleterre.


January 9 Move into Paris apartment, 74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine.
January 10Leave for Switzerland: Chamby sur Montreux.
February 2Return to Paris. Mid-February meets Ezra Pound.
March 8Hemingways meet Gertrude Stein.
May 24Ernest, Hadley, and Chink Dorman-Smith at Chamby. Hike over St. Bernard pass into Italy.
November 21Ernest enters Switzerland for Lausanne Conference.
December 3Hadley loses MSS. Ernest returns to Paris.
December 4Ernest takes night train back to Lausanne.
December 16Hemingways at Chamby with Chink Dorman-Smith.

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January c.15Hadley becomes pregnant.
January 17-20Ernest in Paris.
June 1Ernest goes to Spain with Robert McAlmon, joined by Bill Bird.
July 6Hemingways go to their first Pamplona festival.
July 17Back in Paris from Pamplona; reading proofs of Three Stories and Ten Poems.
August 13Three Stories and Ten Poems published in Paris.
August 17Due to sail on Andania; ship delayed ten days.
August 26Sail for Canada.
September 4Dock in Montreal.
September 10Ernest begins regular work at Toronto Star.
October 4Sent to New York to cover Lloyd George trip.
October 10Hadley delivers a son. Ernest arrives late.
December 20Galley proofs of in our time arrive.
December 23Ernest goes to Oak Park alone for a Christmas visit.
December 25Arrives back in Toronto Christmas morning.

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January 10Hemingways leave Toronto.
January 19Sail on Antonia for France.
January 30Dock in Cherbourg, two days late.
February 8Sign lease at 113 rue Notr-Dame-des-Champs.
February 17Working for Ford on transatlantic review.
March 16John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway baptized.
April"Indian Camp" appears in transatlantic.
April 25Ernest takes trip to Provence alone.
May 2Ernest returns from Provence.
May c.21Ford goes to New York; Ernest edits transatlantic.
June 25Hemingways leave for their second Pamplona.
September 30In Our Time sent to Don Stewart in New York to find a publisher.
November 1transatlantic publishes "Doctor and Doctor's Wife".
December"Cross Country Snow" in transatlantic.
December 20Hemingways leave Paris for Schruns, Austria.

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February 26Two cables saying In Our Time accepted by Boni and Liveright.
March 5Liveright telegrams acceptance of In Our Time.
March 6Ernest accepts offer.
March 13Hemingways exit Austria enroute back to Paris.
March c.16Liveright contract arrives.
March 31Mails signed contract including "The Battler".
April 10The Great Gatsby published in New York.
end of AprilMeets Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
May 15Ernest reading The Great Gatsby.
May c.20Receives galley proofs of In Our Time.
May 22Mails back galleys.
June 12Contracts to buy Joan Miro painting "The Farm".
June 26Hemingways leave for their third Pamplona.
June 28-30Fishing in Burguete.
July 2Return to Pamplona.
July 13Hemingways depart Pamplona for Madrid.
July 23Begins first blue notebook of The Sun Also Rises.
September 15First draft of The Sun Also Rises finished.
September 30Completes purchase of Miro's "The Farm".
October 5In Our Time published in New York.
November 23Begins Torrents of Spring.
December 2Finishes Torrents of Spring.
December 7Sends Torrents of Spring to Liveright.
December 11Hemingways leave for second Schruns.
December c.25Pauline Pfeiffer arrives in Schruns.
December 30Liveright rejects Torrents by cable.

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January 4Hemingways and Pauline in Gaschurn for four days.
January 14Pauline back in Paris.
January 28Ernest in Paris enroute to New York; Hadley in Schruns.
February 3Ernest leaves Cherbourg on the Mauretania for New York.
February 9Ernest arrives in New York.
February 10Breaks contract with Horace Liveright.
February 11Approaches Max Perkins at Scribner's.
February 17Scribner's contract ready and Ernest signs.
February 20Sails for France on the Roosevelt.

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