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ERNEST  HEMINGWAY
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AN ERNEST HEMINGWAY FAMILY ARCHIVE – LETTERS WRITTEN TO HIS SISTER URSULA, INCLUDING OVER TWO DOZEN LETTERS BY HEMINGWAY HIMSELF AND LETTERS BY HIS WIFE MARY AT THE TIME OF HIS SUICIDE

 

ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961). Hemingway was among the most celebrated of all American authors. He is best known for his novels A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, and The Old Man and the Sea, but he was also a journalist. He won both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize. Hemingway was married four times, had four children, and spent about two decades living in Cuba. Disabled and depressed after a series of airplane accidents, he committed suicide in his Idaho home in 1961.

 

URSULA HEMINGWAY JEPSON (1902-1966). Jepson was Ernest Hemingway’s second oldest sister. A skilled ceramicist and graduate of Carleton College, she married Jasper Jepson in 1925 and had a daughter named Gayle in 1926. She lived much of her adult life in Honolulu, Hawaii. Like her famous brother, Jepson died by suicide in 1966 after a series of health struggles.

 

MARTHA GELLHORN (1908-1998). A great novelist and war correspondent, Gellhorn was Ernest Hemingway’s third wife. They were married in 1940 and divorced in 1945.

 

MARY WELSH HEMINGWAY (1908-1986). Hemingway, an author and journalist, was Ernest Hemingway’s fourth wife. They were married from 1946 until his death in 1961.

 

Archive. 51 pieces. 1908-1966. An archive of letters relating to American author Ernest Hemingway and written to his sister, Ursula Hemingway Jepson. This is currently owned by descendants of Ursula Jepson and has never been offered for sale before. There are thirty-two items written by Ernest Hemingway, thirty of which are addressed to Ursula. These include eleven ALsS, twelve TLsS, two autographed envelopes, six unsigned letters, and one signed message in his niece’s autograph book (sometimes he autographs his letters with silly names like “Glubones”). Topics include his writing, travel, awards, life in Cuba, accidents, and both his and Ursula’s families. It is clear that the two siblings were close and Hemingway often sent the Jepsons money when they needed it.  There are also signed items by his third wife Martha and fourth wife Mary (including three deeply-personal letters written just before his suicide), brother Leicester, Hemingway biographer Carlos Baker, and others. The bulk of the items are in very good condition or better, and most include their original mailing envelopes. A full inventory appears below; please contact me for full scans and/or transcripts of the entire collection:

 

  1. ALS. 1pg. December 18, 1908. Oak Park, Illinois. An autograph letter signed “Ernest M. Hemingway” written as a nine-year-old to his mother, Grace Hall Hemingway (1872-1951), in childish handwriting: “Dear Mama - I got your nice letter aunt Laura was here for dinner: I have her a squirrel skin to give herald for Christmas. I have got all my Christmas presents bought. Thank you for your nice letter. Your loving son Ernest M. Hemingway”. In fine condition with a few spots on the right edge.
  2. ALS. 1pg. September 16, 1918. N.p. [Milan, Italy] An autograph letter signed “Ernie” and written to his sister Ursula (Ura). It was written while Hemingway was in Europe as a Red Cross ambulance driver during World War One. He was recovering in the hospital from a serious injury from mortal fire at the time, saying: “… Probably I’ll get out of the hospital in about 20 days…Your brother is now a full fleged [sic] 1st Lieut. and all the 2nd Lieuts. salute him. So when you write to the Old Brute address him as Lieut. Not so bad Eh? He wears two gold Bars on his sleeve and a Sam Browne belt and is going to have command of a post of his own…”. He also drew a small illustration of the exploding shrapnel that had injured him. In good condition, with a hole that obscures a few words.
  3. ALS. 1pg. 1923. N.p. A brief letter addressed to Japs, Ursula’s future husband Jasper Jepson. In good condition.
  4. ALS. 2pgs. N.d. [1932]. N.p. An autograph letter signed “Ernie” to Ursula. Amongst contents such as Ursula’s dog dying and family monetary matters, Hemingway mentions having sold the movie rights to The Sun Also Rises. “… You may have seen by the papers that I sold the Sun Also to movies – But that went direct to Hadley – Gave her the book long ago – Come as good windfall for her now…”. Hadley Richardson (1891-1979) was the first of Hemingway’s four wives. They had divorced in 1927. In fine condition.
  5. ALS. 1pg. September 19, 1932. Cooke, Montana. An autograph letter signed “Ernie” to Ursula. It mentions the upcoming release of Death in the Afternoon. In fine condition.
  6. TLS. 1pg. April 10, 1933. Key West, Florida. A typed letter signed “Glubones” by Ernest Hemingway to Urusula. It discusses their sister Marcelline (aka Beefy) and her husband in rather negative terms. In very good condition.
  7. AL. 4pgs [incomplete]. September 7, 1933. Hotel Biarritz, Madrid, Spain. An unsigned, autograph letter by Ernest to Ursula. Hemingway invites Ursula and her family to use his house in Key West, Florida while he and his wife Pauline are in Europe and Africa through the end of March. “… What about this? We have a grand house in Key West – Really lovely – big – cool – always cool in big heavy stone walled roo[ms] full library…Would it be of any interest to you to go down there with all your expenses, travelling, and food, light, gas, etc paid and say, 50 a month cash in addition, to live in the house as our representative from say middle of November until the middle of March…You could get a nigger for 4 or 5 dollars a week to clean and cook and put it on the expenses…There’s no catch to it and it’s not a trap – But designed for our mutual benefits…”. The letter, on letterhead of the hotel Ambos Mundos in Havana, is incomplete but in fine condition.
  8. TLS. 1pg. Steptember 26, [1933]. Hotel Biarritz, Madrid, Spain. A typed letter signed “Your aff. Bro. Ernie”. It concerns the possibility of Ursula and her family using Ernest’s home in Key West. In very good condition, the ink is somewhat faded.
  9. ALS. 3pgs. November 14, [1933]. Paris. An autograph letter signed “Stein” by Ernest Hemingway to Ursula, concerning her family’s stay in his Key West home. In good condition, with wear and tear. There is a sizable loss to the bottom of the third page, not impacting any text.
  10. ALS. 4pgs. January 19, [1934]. Nairobi, Kenya. An autograph letter signed “Papa” by Ernest Hemingway to his son Patrick (b. 1928). The first page is on letterhead of the New Stanley Hotel in Nairobi. It is written in pencil. Hemingway tells his son, a future big-game hunter, of his hunting accomplishments in Kenya. “…We have seen 83 lions We killed 3 black maned lions. Big ones. Charles killed the biggest. And one other lion. Then we killed 35 hyenas, 3 Buffalo bulls. About 8 Thompson gazelles, about Six Grant Gazelles, 3 Topi, 4 Eland, 6 Impalla, 2 Leopards, 5 Cheetah, a lot of Zebra for their hides. 3 Water buck, one cerval cat, 1 bush buck, 1 Roan Antelope, 3 wart hogs, 2 Klipspringers, 2 oribi, and I don’t know how many sand grouse, ducks, lesser bustard and greater bustard and partridges. [Y]ou would love this country…”. He also mentions having gotten dysentery.
  11. ALS. 3pgs [partial]. N.d. N.p. The last three pages of an autograph letter signed “Ernie” to Ursula.
  12. A photocopy of a three-page letter to Ursula, mentioning Hemingway, his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer (1895-1951), and their son Patrick, as well as Ursula’s husband and daughter.
  13. TLS. 1pg. June 2 [1935]. Key West, Florida. A typed letter with autograph addition, signed “Ernie” to Ursula. Hemingway mentions writing, recent trips, and having shot himself by accident. In very good condition with mild wear and toning.
  14. ALS. 1pg. July 24, 1935. Bimini, B.W.I. An autograph letter signed “Ernie” to Ursula, regarding Hemingway’s recent birthday. In fine condition and written in pencil.
  15. Autograph book. 1936. A small autograph book belonging to Gayle Hemingway Jepson, Ernest Hemingway’s niece. Her uncle wrote her an autograph, signed missive on one page. “To Beezer with much love from her Uncle Ernie Ernest Hemingway”. Beezer was her nickname. Ernest’s young son Patrick also signed his cousin’s autograph book “Patrick age 7 ½ 1936”.
  16. ALS. 1pg. 1938. Key West. A short, autograph letter signed “Ernie” and written to Ursula. “Dearest Ura much love to you and old Jap and the Beezer from us all and Merry Christmas. Your loving Brother Ernie”. In fine condition.
  17. ANS. 1pg. December 1940. Havana, Cuba. A brief, autograph Christmas message signed “Ernie”. “Merry Christmas and much love to you guys from Marty and Ernie”. “Marty” was Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gellhorn. In fine condition.
  18. TLS. 1pg. September 12, 1941. Havana, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph addition, signed “Ernie” on the letterhead of his Havana home “Finca Vigia San Francisco de Paula Cuba”. The letter mentions Windemere, Hemingway’s childhood summer home in Michigan, which he gives his sister permission to use any time. He also talks about his home in Cuba and his “plan to outlive all my worst relatives and to have a very fine time during my declining years” – a rather sad addition knowing that Hemingway died by suicide less than twenty years later. In fine condition.
  19. TLS. 1pg. January 19, 1942. Cuba. A typed letter signed “Marty” by Hemingway’s second wife, Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), on “Finca Vigia San Francisco de Paula Cuba” letterhead. Martha writes to Ursula about Ernest’s recent Pulitzer Prize, which he won for For Whom the Bell Tolls: “…Poor old Ernest got no account of the fine speeches made about him and he was very sad because he had never won a prize before, and he wanted to know what it meant to be a classic. He has also not yet gotten the gold medal, and we are firmly convinced that Charlie Scribner has hocked it to buy a horse. Aside from that, I was very proud and delighted with his honor and so was he, though he kept muttering and making little jokes about it. …” Charles Scribner was his publisher. In fine condition with very minor toning.
  20. TLS. 2pgs. March 19, 1943. Havana, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph corrections, signed “Marty” on “Finca Vigia San Francisco de Paula Cuba” letterhead. Martha wrote to Ursula about family news, including the local wildlife. In fine condition, though the second page has been cut off just below the signature.
  21. TLS. 1pg. July 30, 1943. Havana, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph additions, signed “Ernie”. Hemingway wrote to his sister during World War II mentioning his son Jack (Bumby) serving in the military and his wife, Martha, being a war correspondent. In very good condition with some ink stains on the top half of the page, probably from being folded.
  22. ALS. 4pgs. September 21. 1943. N.p. An autograph letter signed “Gayle” by Hemingway’s niece, written to her father while he was on a trip. In very good condition with some toning and other minor faults.
  23. TLS. 2pgs. July 4, 1945. New York. A typed letter signed “Marty”. Around the time of her divorce from Hemingway, Martha wrote to Ursula, reporting their separation, as well as Jack’s return from military service: “…I wonder if you know that E and I are separated; if not, I thought it would be nicer to tell you myself. It’s not bad or worrying, Ura; E is back in the finca in Cuba, has been since February I think, and all the childies are there and he has a marvelous book to write and a fine girl who will have greater talent for the job than I have…”. The woman in question was likely Mary Walsh, whom Hemingway married the following year. The letter is in fine condition.
  24. TL. 1pg. March 30, [no year]. N.p. [Europe] A typed V-Mail letter with typed signature written to Ursula by her brother Leicester (Gaspard) Hemingway (1915-1982), while he was serving as an Army private during World War II. In very good condition.
  25. TLS. 3pgs. September 11, 1945. New York. A typed letter with autograph additions signed “Gaspard” by Leicester Hemingway, addressed to Ursula. He mentions being honorably discharged from the military, recovering from a leg injury, and lots of family news. In very good condition.
  26. Telegram. 1pg. May 14, 1946. A Mother’s Day telegram to Ursula from her daughter Gayle (aka Beeze). In fine condition.
  27. ALS. 1pg. N.d. N.p. [probably Paris]. An autograph letter signed “Mary (Heming…)” and “Ernie”. Inside a greeting card depicting the Eiffel Tower, the Hemingways each wrote short messages to the Jepsons. In fine condition.
  28. ALS. 1pg. N.d. N.p. An autograph letter signed “M” and “Ernie”. On the inside of a personalized Hallmark Christmas card, both Mary and Ernest wrote and signed Christmas messages to Ursula and her family. In fine condition.
  29. TLS. 1pg. February 2, 1951. Havana, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph postscript, signed ErnieandE on “Finca Vigia, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba” letterhead. Ernest wrote to Ursula about her upcoming visit to Cuba. “…This is just a note to tell you how happy we will be to see you and the Jap and to see Jap and put you up here at the house…”. In fine condition.
  30. Telegram. 1pg. June 4, [no year]. N.p. A brief telegraph from Ernest to Ursula. In fine condition.
  31. TLS. 2pgs. June 11, 1951. Havana, Cuba. A typed letter, with autograph additions on the verso, signed “Ernie”. On “Finca Vigia, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba” letterhead, Hemingway wrote to his sister about her recent visit, family, fishing tournaments, and trouble with his staff: “…Fico, the cook, shot himself by mistake with my .22 rifle while we were fishing in the tournament and I have to go to court about it tomorrow. Clara, the maid, took too much Seconal as a whim while we were fishing in the other tournament. She is o.k. but I, naturally, can’t trust her. She found the bottle of tablets, liked them, and just kept on takeing [sic] them up to saturation point. She reached it all right…”. Although the letter is in fine condition, it is difficult to read because of strange formatting. Also, the handwritten additions on the verso bleed through to the other side of the page.
  32. TLS. 2pgs. July 21, 1952. Havana, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph additions, signed  “Ernie” on Finca Vigia letterhead. Alongside family news (including several deaths), Hemingway complains extensively and passionately to Ursula about Charles Fenton, who was writing his 1958 book, The Apprenticeship of Ernest Hemingway, at the time: “…Would you mind sending me that man Fenton’s letter as soon as you can? I think he started out to write a legitimate account of my apprentice-ship in writing ie. Kansas City Star etc. He wrote me that it was to help in teaching writing etc. Wrote a very plausible letter. Then he switched to an amateur detective technique and has been annoying and a privacy invader of the worst type. Have no doubt he had got hold of Marce. Know he went down to Washington to see Les. I believe he is working on something like Mizener did on Scott Fitz Gerald. That was a dirty and miserable thing to do when Scott was fresh dead. But this character Fenton evidently thinks he can get away with it while I am alive. Naturally the people he gets in touch with are mostly those that hate your guts. Your best old friends are usually dead or inarticulate. I warned him to cease and desist. But I have to find some legal way of stopping him I guess. Very persons name he gets leads to some other person. That is the way they work it. It is the sort of chain letter school of amateur detection biography. I always liked to keep my private life private and it was one of the few pleasures I had. Also there were too many people involved in it. But this Mizener school stops at nothing. Your work should be what you elect to publish. Their ideal is to publish your waste-basket and probably all the journalism you ever wrote to eat while you were learning to write. Nothing could be more destructive. Also when I, who knew Oak Park, never wrote about it what right has this character to dig into all of it? He would never know the truth of what our childhood was really like but would get all the stuff we hated. He probably got your name from Mizener himself who taught at Carleton. Maybe he wasn’t there when you were there. He made a terrific success out of his book on Scott and Zelda. Poor young Scotty FitzGerald innocently turned over all her father’s letters etc. to Mizener and lived to read detailed accounts of her mother’s insanity which must have been fine for her husband and child. So please send me Fenton’s letter and I’ll let you know about things. One of the worst aspects of what they do is make it impossible for you to write any of the things you have saved to write because even though you invent and write fiction they make the people legally identifiable. It is a rotten business all around and they do it to make money and wrap themselves in the asbestos cloak of doing it for scholarship. Anyway don’t answer him until you hear from me…”. English professor Arthur Mizener published The Far Side of Paradise about F. Scott Fitzgerald about 1951. The letter is in fine condition.
  33. TLS. 2pgs. May 14, 1954. New York City. A typed letter signed “Les”. Leicester Hemingway wrote to his sister Ursula about family news, a recent injury, and his writing projects. In fine condition.
  34. TL. 1pg (partial). January 6, 1955. U.S. Embassy, Stockholm, Sweden. The first page of a typed letter on letterhead of the American Embassy in Stockholm. It concerns Christmas celebrations and Ernest Hemingway’s recent Nobel Prize. “…We gave a big party for our 4 Nobel winners…Hemingway’s speach [sic] which Jack had to present was very well received. …”. Hemingway did not attend the Nobel ceremony due to a recent injury. Both the sender and recipient of this partial letter are unidentified. It is in fair condition, with a vertical tear clear across the middle that has been repaired with tape.
  35. TLS. 2pgs. May 21, [1955]. The Finca, [Cuba]. A typed letter, with a few autograph corrections, signed “Ernie”. Hemingway mentions his accident in Africa and Nobel Prize, as well as Ursula’s recent surgery. “… After the plane business in Africa when we began to find out how badly I was smashed I was too gloomy and hurt too much all the time. Then worked out of that and got to writing fine and then came that Swede prize with interruptions and mail and people pestering and interfering and bothering until I damned near lost my book and the book and writing it was all that was keeping me going. …”. In fine condition.
  36. Telegram. 1pg. June 6, 1955. N.p. A telegram from Ernest to Ursula. In fine condition.
  37. TLS. 3pgs. June 6, 1955. Finca Vigia, Cuba. A typed letter signed “Ernie” and addressed to Ursula. Among a variety of topics, he mentions Peter Viertel adapting his novel The Old Man and the Sea as a screenplay. The resulting movie premiered in 1958 and starred Spencer Tracy. The letter is in fine condition.
  38. Telegram. 1pg. June 12, 1955. N.p. A telegram from Ernest to Ursula, wishing her luck in her upcoming surgery (one of several). In fine condition.
  39. TLS. 1pg. March 13, 1956. Finca Vigia, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph postscript, signed “Ernie”. Hemingway wrote to Ursula about the movie adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea, which was then filming in Peru. Ursula and Jasper accompanied Hemingway to Peru to see the filming, and this letter concerns that trip. “…The flickery folk arrive here tonight. Will then verify for the tenth time the Peru dates which are at present leave Miami via PanAm Panagra for Cabo Blanco. April 15th to May 15th back here May 18th to work on picture. They are supposed to be through the picture by the end of June but may have to shoot shark stuff in Bimini or Cayo Sal. That ought to be over so we should be back here by July 15th or 19th”. In fine condition.
  40. TLS. 1pg. May 25, 1956. Finca Vigia, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph additions, signed “Ernie” to Ursula. It concerns the Peruvian trip. In fine condition.
  41. TLS. 1pg. March 3, 1957. Finca Vigia, Cuba. A typed letter signed “Mary”. She wrote to the Jepsons about a recent trip to Europe; she also mentions Ernest’s poor health for the first time. “…Ernest had a rough time for a while in Paris this winter – much too high cholesterol content in the blood – then, besides having to cut out all that wonderful Paris food, he had to cut down to practically nothing to drink – none of this conductive to gaiety. But you should see him now – absolutely flat in the front – no tummy at all, and his face thinned down. I’ve never seen him look so handsome, and the blood pressure is down (we’re waiting now for the results of the latest blood tests, which are almost sure to be comforting, since he’s been so well disciplined for so long.)…”. In fine condition.
  42. TLS. 2pgs. June 19, 1957. Finca Vigia, Cuba. A typed letter with autograph additions, signed “Mary”. Once again, she discusses Hemingway’s heath, particularly the fact that he has to cut back on his alcohol consumption: “…I wrote you, I think, after we got back from Europe in February, mostly about Ernest, and now he is infinitely better in all tests but one – the cholesterol content of the blood way down (but what a job for the menu-makers) his plod-pressure way down, his weight way down – no stomach. When we do a hug now, I can feel him all the way from his chest to his knees – and all VERY nice. But there is one test – here called the Hanger test – which has continued positive, which is very bad – and so the medicos have cut him down to about three small glasses of wine a day and Nothin [sic] Else alcoholic. You can imagine what a tough assignment this is for our boy…”. At the bottom, there are three lines in Ernest’s handwriting: “Best love and luck…Please tell the…we were awfully sorry to miss them. Hope throat better. Best to Jep.” In fine condition.
  43. A framed, black-and-white photograph of Ernest Hemingway by Karsh.  It is the famous portrait of the writer in a turtleneck sweater.
  44. ALS. 1pg. N.d. Rochester. An autograph letter signed “M”, inside one of Ernest and Mary’s personalized Christmas cards depicting an Edward Hicks painting. “Dear People – We have been here in Rochester for a couple weeks, Papa undergoing an extensive general examination because his blood pressure wouldn’t stay down. Expect to be back in Ketchum, Idaho. Papa is steadily improving. Love to you M”. “Papa” was a nickname for Ernest Hemingway. In fine condition with minor toning.
  45. TLS. 1pg. April 25, 1961. Ketchum, Idaho. A typed letter with brief autograph addition, signed “Mary”, written to Ursula Hemingway Jepson and marked “CONFIDENTIAL – PLEASE READ IN PRIVATE” at the top. It concerns Hemingway’s mental illness, suicide attempts, and treatment: “This is a hard-to-write letter, but I feel it is my duty to tell you that Papa has been suffering for at least six months from some form of paranoia (I don’t know the precise medical name for it) characterized by acute depression, anxieties, hallucinations etc., and in the last week by suicidal intentions. It was this illness, with the high blood-pressure only incidental, which caused his devoted friend, Dr. George Saviers of here, in consultation with the head of the Sun Valley Hospital, to decide to fly Papa to the Mayo Clinic last fall. There between Nov. 30 and Jan. 22, he was given 10 electric shock treatments, at the conclusion of which the chief of the psychiatry department thought Papa was sufficiently improved to come home here. He predicted that Papa would gradually improve and that in six months he would be his original self – and gave me rules to follow (build up his confidence, surround him with affection – easy – keep our life in the simplest routine and tranquil so that Papa could work as much or as little as he wishes. I followed the instructions with all the care I could command, and Papa appeared to improve for a month or more. But about six weeks ago he began to show signs of a new decline. George Saviers came to see him every day, observed the steady decline, and last Thursday told Papa he thought he should return to Rochester. On Friday I went downstairs and found him in the front vestibule of the house with his shotgun, two shells and a note he had written me. For an hour I talked to him – courage, his bravery, faith, love, etc. – and managed to delay any decisive action until George arrived, perceived the situation and managed to take Papa to the Sun Valey [sic] hospital where they put him to bed and gave him sedatives. The weather has been too bad for flying out of here for nearly a week and yesterday morning Papa persuaded George to let him come back to the house saying there ‘are some things I must do there.’ George got a friend of ours, big and husky, to come with Papa, but as soon as he got into the sitting-room where the gun-rack and shells are (gross neglect on my part not to have hidden them, but I hadn’t thought he would return here) Papa grabbed his old shotgun and had a shell in the chamber before Don could reach him. Don managed to get the gun away and they took Papa back to the hospital. This morning the weather was good enough and George and Don flew with Papa to Rochester in a local charter-plane. How long he will have to be there or what further treatment they will prescribe, I’ve no idea. … I plan to stay on here for 2 or 3 weeks at least, unless the Mayo people insist on my going there, which is unlikely (my nerves and emotions are torn to shreds.) I’d love to have any advice or suggestions for Papa’s wellbeing you might send. Best love and luck To you both Mary”. Hemingway killed himself in early July of the same year. The letter is in fine condition.
  46. TLS. 1pg. May 5, 1961. Ketchum, Idaho. A typed letter with autograph addition, signed “Mary”. She updates Ursula on Ernest’s condition and treatment. “… He has now been in Rochester 10 days and the chief psychiatrist called me this afternoon, reported he has had a shock treatment every other day, has stopped his ‘frenetic’ activity – you know, pacing endlessly, picking at his skin etc. – but is still holding fast to the two (false) convictions that he grew more and more concerned with before he left here, ie., that we are pennyless, [sic] and that the state of Idaho is about to pounce on us and declare us legal residents and liable to pay the state income tax, which would break us. No amount of showing of bank statements sways him so far; but he had the same illusion last winter and final was disposed of it. I don’t pretend to know anything of psychiatry or psychoanalysis or any of that occult stuff and I mistrust the flinging about of terms; but it seems to be a combination of deepseated insecurity and a persecution complex. Anyhow, Dr. Rome, the Mayo psychiatrist, says it can be completely cured; but I would have more confidence in his word, if we hadn’t gone through this dreadful past 3 months with Ernest steadily declining, after Rome had declared him cured. This time I’ve been in touch with a N. Y. man – Dr. Cattell, who is supposed to be really tops in this field, and if in the end, Rome’s work does not seem satisfactory to me, I propose, through Dr. Cattell and, natch, with Papa’s consent, to try to get him into the Menninger Clinic at Topeka, which, I’m told is the very best place in the country. …” Dr. Cattell was Harvard and Columbia-trained psychiatrist Dr. James P. Cattell. In fine condition.
  47. TLS. 1pg. May 16, 1961. Ketchum, Idaho. A typed letter with autograph additions, signed “Mary”. Mary speaks to Ursula about her fears that Ernest will have another relapse if released from the Mayo Clinic too soon: “Ura dear – Just a quick report to keep you in touch: Papa telephoned me this morning from Rochester, and his voice sounded better and his conversation more lucid but he still retains several illusions which have no base in fact. He said the Mayo people think his progress very good and that he may soon leave there, and this has prompted me to put into action a plan I’d worked out earlier in consultation with his medical Dr. here, a good and devoted friend, which is to see Papa in Rochester, consult with his doctors there, then go on to N. Y. to consult with Dr. James Cattell, who is supposed to be one of the top boys in this field. I want to do this because I cant have full faith in the Mayo psychiatrists after their failure last winter, and also because Dr. Rome, head of the department, simply will not communicate with me. … Please don’t worry too much if I don’t telephone you. It will only mean that there is no great urgency in making any decisions regarding E’s programs for the future. He said this morning he is terribly eager too [sic] come back here, but I’m terrified that they’ll let him go too soon, and he may have another relapse…”. In fine condition.
  48. ALS. 1pg. July 13, 1961. Ketchum, Idaho. An autograph letter signed “Mary” and written to Ursula eleven days after Ernest’s suicide. “Darling Ura – There may be other letters besides these for you and I’ll send them along as I find them. The flood of mail and problems continues at…Cuba, manuscripts, press etc. – also my personal sense of total loss. But we are beginning to put things in order, George Brown is still here, giving me a feeling of protection, and I am beginning to understand that other people have survived similar circumstances. I’ll write a better letter later. Love to you both – Mary”. In very good condition with some toning.
  49. TLS. 2pgs. July 21, 1961. Sun Valley, Idaho. A typed letter to Ursula concerning Mary, but not written or signed by her. It mentions her plans to travel to Cuba. In fair condition, the letter is light in places and somewhat difficult to read, as though it was written on a typewriter that was running out of ink.
  50. TLS. 2pgs. April 1, 1966 Princeton, New Jersey. A typed letter signed “Carlos Baker”, on Princeton University letterhead. Baker (1909-1987) was the writer of a 1966 biography of Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. Baker wrote to Ursula, “the only Hemingway sister I’ve never met and made friends with”, to ask her some questions about time that Hemingway spend with her in Hawaii in 1941. “… Anyhow, I’m 500 and some pages into a first draft of my biography of Ernest and lately have been writing about the trip he made to China with Martha in February-May, 1941. They met you and your husband, Aunt Grace, and Anson, attended a luau given by Sandy and Dorothy Blake in their frame house near the Oahu Country Club, and Ernest went to a luncheon with some young University of Hawaii professors at the Fisherman’s Wharf seafood restaurant, with Gregg Sinclair as a host and Chianti the only drink. That’s about all I know about their stopover on the way out. On the way back, when Ernest was traveling ahead of Martha, all I know is that Aunt Grace me the Clipper on which he arrived from the Manila-Guam-Midway endurance contest. Could you please answer these questions” 1) Did EH and Marty reach Hawaii by boat or plane on the way west? I thought they flew all the way both ways but there is a picture of them, with leis, which seems to have a boat in the background. 2) Did they stay with you going out? Did Ernest stay with you coming back? 3) Did Martha catch up with EH in Hawaii, or in San Francisco, or not until New York, coming back? 4)Where is Anson? Would he reply if I wrote him? 5) Is Dorothy Blake reachable by mail? These may seem like trivial questions to you, but they are missing links in my carefully reconstructed story and if you will be so generous as to answer them, I will be much indebted to you. With best wishes, Yours very sincerely, Carlos Baker”. In fine condition.
  51. ALS. 2pgs. April 21, 1966. Princeton, New Jersey. An autograph letter signed “Carlos Baker”, on his personal letterhead. Baker follows up on Ursula’s answers to the questions he posed in the previous letter. His words suggest friction between the two. “… While I will not pretend not to have noticed the slightly acidulous tone, and while like any 57-year-old Professor of English I was a little irked by your correction of my terminology, you did answer my questions, and that was what I asked you politely to do. Please assure your husband that my interest is in accuracy, not sensationalism. Please assure yourself, whatever you may have heard to the contrary, that I am not a Hotchan. (?) I have been working on this book for four years now, and it will take another two or three to finish it. It will be the best book that I can write. The only way it is possible to find out some facts is to ask, when other sources fail. This is why I asked you, and I presume that this was also why you answered. As time goes on and more pages accumulate, I may have to turn to you again. At that time you can consider whether or not to answer the questions I ask, if any – strictly on the merits of the case. Meantime, acid and all, I am much indebted to you for your letter. …” Ursula died later that year. In fine condition.