VOLUME 3, 1926-1929

A meticulously edited volume offering an unvarnished portrait.

The third volume of a projected 17-volume collection of Hemingway’s letters covers three years during which the author rose to literary fame with the publication of The Sun Also Rises (1926), Torrents of Spring (1926), and the collection Men Without Women (1927).

By 1929, he had completed the manuscript for A Farewell to Arms. The period was marked, too, by emotional upheaval: his father committed suicide, leaving his mother and teenage siblings in financial straits; he ended his first marriage to Hadley Richardson and married Pauline Pfeiffer. Among 344 letters (70 percent of which were previously unpublished) to 92 recipients, only two are to Hadley and 9 to Pauline. Hadley burned her husband’s letters after their divorce, and those to Pauline were destroyed, according to her instructions, after her death. Editor Maxwell Perkins is a frequent recipient; others include family members; friends such as Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald; and fellow writers, including Sherwood Anderson and T.S. Eliot. In a detailed introduction, the volume’s editors note that Hemingway’s letters “are unpolished, unselfconscious, candid and casual”—and, they might have added, often catty and gossipy. Money is a recurring theme. Hemingway disparages Robert McAlmon (“without money, he would never have been published anywhere by anybody”); Ford Maddox Ford (“kissing asses of people with money” to fund his magazine); and sometimes himself. “Am thinking of quitting publishing any stuff for the next 10 or 15 years as soon as I get my debts paid up,” he wrote to Fitzgerald. “To hell with the whole goddam business.” The most moving letter is to Hadley, written in November 1926. Acknowledging his cruelty to her because of his affair with Pauline, he implores her not to feel rushed into deciding to divorce. But Hadley stood firm: “Haven’t I yet made it quite plain that I want to start proceedings for a divorce from you—right away?” she responded immediately.

A meticulously edited volume offering an unvarnished portrait.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-521-89735-8

Page Count: 750

Publisher: Cambridge Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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