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The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 1, 1907-1922 (The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway) Hardcover – September 20, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0521897334 ISBN-10: 0521897335 Edition: 1ST

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The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 1, 1907-1922 (The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway) + The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 2, 1923-1925 (The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway) + Ernest Hemingway on Writing
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Product Details

  • Series: The Cambridge Edition of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1ST edition (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521897335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521897334
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A literary treasure trove ... Where Hemingway's published works had all been so deliberate and painstakingly chiseled, his letters were free-form and expansive-unsanded and unvarnished. . . His letters may prove to be the most honest log of Hemingway's fascinating life-voyage, the truest sentences he ever wrote. ... Their value cannot be overstated." - Vanity Fair

"without question a spectacular scholarly achievement" - The New York Times

"These letters-boisterous, exuberant, and insistent on a reply (see me! hear me! feel me! so many of them seem to implore)-only show more deeply how fearlessly-carelessly, even-Hemingway lived in order to be seen." -Alexandra Fuller, The Daily Beast

". . . lusty . . " -Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

". . . reminds us why we fell in love with the guy to begin with. . . " -Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times

"This Cambridge edition of all of Hemingway's known letters is as elegant and proper a solution as one could wish to such a daunting challenge: how to make this treasure available to all interested scholars and readers for generations to come. I think that Papa Hemingway would be pleased. His favorite dictum seems most fitting on this splendid occasion: 'Il faut, d'abord, durer.' [First of all, one must endure; or as my Dad translated it with supreme economy: 'First: last'] Along with his books, Hemingway's most personal thoughts and expressions will now endure beyond his wildest dreams." -Charles Scribner III

". . . a tender homage to this unknown Hemingway, revealing new insights into his creative process along the way, but also a bow before the lost art of letter-writing itself." -The Atlantic

"Those familiar with the gruff, humorless, and word-chary sportsman of popular legend will be surprised to find a charming and compulsive correspondent whose garrulous voice works irresistible magic on the English language" -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"(The letters are) idiosyncratic, lively, dotted with nicknames, doodles, and unusual spellings, and typewriter-induced typos. Many have a refreshingly off-the-cuff feel that contrasts with the polish of his published work." -The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Love him or hate him, he was one of the great novelists." -Commentary

"[The collection] chronicles the development of a significant figure in the story of American letters." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch

". . . a major project in literary scholarship . . . left me eager to read more" -Robert Fulford, The National Post

"And so begins the ambitious--and highly anticipated--publication of the Letters of Ernest Hemingway, a vast collection that proves to be both a revealing autobiography and the passkey to his literary works. This first volume is a vibrant portrait of the artist as a young man, striking all the notes that will resonate as themes in the epic life and epochal literature that lie ahead." -A. Scott Berg

"The collected Hemingway letters will be enthusiastically welcomed by the scholarly world as well as the legion of Hemingway enthusiasts around the world. He is not only one of the most important twentieth-century writers in the world, but a fascinating and frank letter writer. This collection will be an invaluable addition to the world of letters." -Noel Riley Fitch

"Hemingway admirers, scholars, and students will find the book essential. The letters fill in abundant biographical and intellectual details, and readers will revel in the young man's exuberant wordplay, private language, and slang" -Steve Paul, Booklist

Book Description

With the publication of this authorized collection, readers will have access to the complete letters of Ernest Hemingway for the first time. This first volume documents in rich and lively detail the formative years of a gifted artist with an outsized personality who would both reflect and transform his times.

More About the Author

Ernest Hemingway ranks as the most famous of twentieth-century American writers; like Mark Twain, Hemingway is one of those rare authors most people know about, whether they have read him or not. The difference is that Twain, with his white suit, ubiquitous cigar, and easy wit, survives in the public imagination as a basically, lovable figure, while the deeply imprinted image of Hemingway as rugged and macho has been much less universally admired, for all his fame. Hemingway has been regarded less as a writer dedicated to his craft than as a man of action who happened to be afflicted with genius. When he won the Nobel Prize in 1954, Time magazine reported the news under Heroes rather than Books and went on to describe the author as "a globe-trotting expert on bullfights, booze, women, wars, big game hunting, deep sea fishing, and courage." Hemingway did in fact address all those subjects in his books, and he acquired his expertise through well-reported acts of participation as well as of observation; by going to all the wars of his time, hunting and fishing for great beasts, marrying four times, occasionally getting into fistfights, drinking too much, and becoming, in the end, a worldwide celebrity recognizable for his signature beard and challenging physical pursuits.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
The insight of Hemmingway's was awesome as one sees him as a young boy/man.
Mike P
This is an excellent book for those 'hooked' on Hemmingway, for students of interest, and for those readers who want to read an excellent book.
Robert A. Burns
Original source letters was a great way to do that, so this Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Volume 1, 1907- 1922 was fascinating.
Terri J. Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By David Anderson on October 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hemingway sometimes imagined himself in a literary boxing ring fighting imaginary bouts with his predecessors. In his interview with Lillian Ross he mentions Maupassant, Turgenev, Stendhal, among others. Now he's in the ring ready to contend for the Heavyweight Championship of Literary Letters, and fortunately for him he's got the best trainers and corner people a boxer could hope for.

Volume 1 of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway (1907-1922) is a veritable textbook of scholarly and editorial apparatus. It has a general editor's intro (with notes and works cited); extensive acknowledgements, a note on the text, including rules of transcription and editorial apparatus; a list of abbreviations and short titles; a foreword to the volume; an editor's introduction to the volume; a 1907-22 chronology; six maps; a roster of correspondents, giving brief bios of the recipients of the letters; a calendar of letters; an index of recipients; a general index; 31 photographs; and a couple of facsimilies. All are useful and helpful; the introductory essays are insightful as well. The letters themselves are accompanied by copious notes and sometimes include drawings, doodles, and whimsical icons in place of signatures.

The letters are by turns formal, informal, intimate, sprawling, and rollicking, not at all reminiscent of the tightly controlled prose Hemingway is known for. He constantly invents words, plays with the language, and rides roughshod over standard usage. The letters cover his youth, his war experience, his work for the Toronto Star, and the beginning of his formative literary years in Paris. Those who have worked so hard and so long to stereotype and pigeonhole Hemingway will be bitterly disappointed at the degree of uncooperativeness he shows here.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. M Mills TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21 1899-1961) has been dead since he blasted his head with a gunshot in Ketchum Idaho a half century ago. Yet Hemingway lives as one of our greatest authors. His oeuvre includes such twentieth century classics as:
The Sun Also Rises; A Farwell to Arms: Men Without Women: Across the Forest and Into the Trees; For Whom the Bell Tolls; The Old Man and the Sea; Islands in the Stream; The Nick Adams stories; Dangerous Summer; The Green Hills of Africa; Death in the Afternoon; A Moveable Feast and some of the best short stories ever written.
The Letters of Ernest Hemingway Volume I 1907-1922 is the first volume in a projected twelve volume set which will present in well edited, extensively footnoted style the letters of a literary genius. Cambridge University Press has assembled a myriad of excellent scholars to illuminate the Hemingway revealed in the thousands of epistles he wrote during his adventurous life which took him from Oak Park Illinois to Kansas City as a cub reporter, Toronto as a newspaper columnist and into the literary world of 1920s Paris where he became friends which literary lions such as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and many others.
Hemingway was raised in an upper middle class suburb of Chicago. His father Clarence was a doctor; his mother Grace Hall Hemingway a formidable woman who was musically trained. Hemingway was the second child born to the dysfunctional couple. Ernest had four sisters and one younger brother. The letters in volume one begin with his first short notes to his father, mother and siblings. The family summered in the Upper Penisula of Michigan. Hemingway from his birth loved to hunt, fish, swim and camp out in the Michigan wilderness.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Rose on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a non-scholar, just someone who enjoys Hemingway's books and has traveled to some places made famous in his writings, I find the notes and references added by the editors fascinating--sometimes even more interesting than the letters themselves. An example is the sometimes bland notes home to family members that become intriguing because we find out about Hadley's health, or about Ernest's need for money, not from what he says directly, but from the extensive scholarship evident in the footnotes that put the card or note into its historical context. What a wonderful start to this multi-volume project, and more to look forward to. I'd recommend this book as a great holiday gift--the photos, too, are well-chosen and round out the feeling that one "is there."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wandrwoman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We think we know someone through their writings, but do we? We know the author but how much do we know the true person beneath? This first volume of Ernest Hemingway's collected personal letters, introduces Hemingway on an entirely personal level.

Representing the years 1907-1922 we meet Hemingway between the ages of 8 though 23. Hemingway the child, the boy, the young man filled with hopes, aspirations and insecurities writes to his parents, his family and his friends. Not all the letters are fascinating, some are quite mundane, but the writer is charming, mentally facile, creative and always in need of attention and affirmation.

This is Hemingway as a young man, already a writer but not yet an author. If not the most popular boy in school, certainly the most fun to be with. The boy who hands out nicknames and changes them often to suit the mood, he is a "hail fellow well met", congenial and always game and full of bluster. He is a boy's boy who fishes, farms and hunts, a little wild at times but fundamentally a well brought up kid who almost always minds his manners.

I found this compilation of letters fascinating and at times charming despite its meticulously researched and scholarly presentation. Hemingway's personality bubbles up through the footnotes and annotations and makes what could be dry and dreary a darn good read.

I found myself smiling broadly at the 15 year old's letter to his mother, begging for new, more adult clothing, especially long pants as "every other Boy in our class has them". A sketch of an outstretched arm with the shirt cuff only reaching to the elbow follows the lament: "My pants are so small every time I wiggle I think they are going to split. And I have about 8 or Ten inches of wrist below me cuffs thusly.
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