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Ernest Hemingway and Mary Welsh

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“As long as you are in love, it is worth it”, Hemingway once confessed to his friend. However, in his personal life the writer, whose novels were read all around the whole world and who women were crazy about, seemed not to have known the happiness of this great feeling. So what was the story of Ernest Hemingway and Mary Welsh?

Ernest belonged to that rare type of men who believed that any serious passion for women should end with a marriage. Being married for the third time, in 1944 in a London pub Ernest saw a pretty blonde and fell in love. Mary Welsh was “a charming blonde”, an American, a daughter of a woodcutter, who studied to become a journalist (Meyers). By the time of meeting with Hemingway she was thirty-six years, and she was married.

On the eighth day of dating the writer came up to her and in the presence of all said: “I want you to marry me. I want to be your husband” (Reynolds). Mary asked Hemingway to stop talking nonsense, as both of them were married. However, the follow-up meeting in a Paris hotel put everything in the right place, and they fell into the arms of each other. For a few days they maintained their strength with champagne and joyful amazement of being together. Two years later, in March 1946, Hemingway and Mary Welsh got married.. After the wedding dinner the couple quarreled. The next morning, as Mary recalled, sober Hemingway happily announced, “Let us never get married again!” She replied, “Definitely not with each other”. He added, “Not with anyone else. I still love you” (Meyers). In such a way they made it up.

Undoubtedly, to be a wife of a genius is interesting, but it is also incredibly difficult. Mary forgave Hemingway his rudeness, heavy drinking and even adultery only because he was incredibly talented. Hemingway’s children criticized their mother for lack of will. “You do not understand,” she said, “I am a wife, not a cop” (Reynolds). They lived together for fifteen years. In fact, it was a long and happy marriage. Nevertheless, their children accused Mary Welsh of the fact that she helped Hemingway to die.

In the last years of life the writer repeatedly tried to kill himself. One day Mary found her husband charging a gun. She tried to distract him, joking that it would be nice to start writing a suicide note. Still, Hemingway was persuaded to go to a clinic. Mary rented a room in a nearby hotel and spent all the days with her husband. She was the only person with whom Ernest could speak without any fear of being suspected of madness. In his last year, he repeatedly tried to kill himself. After trying to shoot himself, he wanted to jump out of a plane by which he was being taken to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, but it did not work as the door would not open. At the hospital Hemingway was treated with electroshock (Reynolds). This caused a partial loss of memory, vision, and even more severe depression. When asked to write a few simple suggestions for a book about Kennedy, after a few hours of fruitless efforts Hemingway started crying in the presence of his doctor. It was too humiliating for him to realize that, being a great writer, he could not make up even the most primitive phrase. He once said that if he felt his hopelessness, then he would not hesitate to leave this life.

Early in the morning of July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway fulfilled his promise. Mary knew it was meant for him. Mary Welsh outlived him by a quarter of a century and prepared Hemingway’s Parisian memories as a book A Moveable Feast to print. This novel is considered the best work of Ernest Hemingway.

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