Hemingway, Ernest. 1899-1961. Autograph Letter Signed ("Your son! Ernest") to his father ("Dear Dad"),

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Lot 270
Hemingway, Ernest. 1899-1961.
Autograph Letter Signed ("Your son! Ernest") to his father ("Dear Dad"),

Sold for US$ 25,075 inc. premium

Fine Books and Manuscripts

13 Jun 2019, 13:00 EDT

New York

Hemingway, Ernest. 1899-1961.
Autograph Letter Signed ("Your son! Ernest") to his father ("Dear Dad"), discussing bullfighting and his burgeoning family, 8 pp, 214 x 140 mm, on 2 folded sheets, numbered 1 - 8, [Paris, at a streetside cafe], dated Sept 3, 1924, with accompanying envelope franked Sept 24, Ave D'Orleans, crease lines.
Provenance: Dr Clarence E Hemingway; by descent.

A FINE LONG UNPUBLISHED FAMILY LETTER, WITH A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF HEMINGWAY'S RECENT BULL FIGHTING ACTIVITIES IN SPAIN AND A SUGGESTION OF HIS EARLY DECISION TO WRITE HIS FIRST NOVEL, THE SUN ALSO RISES. This is a very chatty and excitable letter to his father, Dr Clarence Hemingway in Oak Park, Illinois, keeping him updated with events in Paris and elsewhere, just 9 months after the birth of his first child "Bumbie" (John Hadley Nicanor "Jack" Hemingway), in Toronto, and after his return to Paris to continue his journalistic career. Full of love for his new son, intermingled with news of recent events, the letter begins with Hemingway's description of his attempts at bull fighting in Spain with Don Stewart: "I was in the bull ring 5 different days and was tossed 3 times, once as the bull was about to hit me I went in between his horns and hung on, and was carried ... for about two full minutes ... I am too old to take up bull fighting seriously as the great ones all start when they are about six years old ... a man's courage needs exercise just as much as his legs do ... I have some great bull fight stories to write," a nice reference to the stirrings of his first novel The Sun Also Rises.
He waxes lyrical about his first wife Hadley (Elizabeth Hadley Richardson), and their life together with their new son Bumbie, telling his father that Bumbie has 5 teeth, and the solid foods that he is eating (Nestle foods), and the healthy lifestyle of Hadley and the baby—"He is very healthy and happy and everybody says he is the best looking and strongest baby they have ever seen "—and goes on to tell his father all the things they do with Bumbie in Paris. He asks his father about their two shared favorite pastimes, hunting and fishing, Hemingway pointing out the migratory quail shooting to be had in northwestern Spain in the fall. Hemingway also tells of visits to Paris from his friends Frank Hines and William Carlos Williams, "who is a very good baby doctor ... and made out a diet schedule."

This letter is unpublished, and has remained hidden from scholars until now. It was not included in volume 2, Letters 1923-1925, published through the Pennsylvania State University in October 2013, by the Hemingway Letters Project, at present up to volume 5, due for publication in the fall of 2019. An important letter, including his mention of his work which to years later would yield The Sun Also Rises, and emanating his love for his newborn son and wife.

Footnotes

  • "... I do have some great bull fight stories to write...."
Contacts
Hemingway, Ernest. 1899-1961. Autograph Letter Signed ("Your son! Ernest") to his father ("Dear Dad"),
Hemingway, Ernest. 1899-1961. Autograph Letter Signed ("Your son! Ernest") to his father ("Dear Dad"),
Hemingway, Ernest. 1899-1961. Autograph Letter Signed ("Your son! Ernest") to his father ("Dear Dad"),
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