In a male-dominated world, Martha Gellhorn’s compelling accounts of D-Day and the Spanish Civil War made her a celebrated war correspondent but it was meeting Ernest Hemingway that altered the course of her life. Dazzled by her beauty and intellect, Hemingway encouraged Martha’s talent at first but as her success grew, jealousy enveloped their lives, leading to a bitter end to their marriage. Martha’s tenacity and determination to emerge from the long shadow cast by Hemingway and become a writer in her own right are vividly captured in this fantastic novel.
- Recommended by Nicola Kennedy, Dubray Bray
In 1937, courageous and independent Martha Gellhorn travels to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War, and finds herself drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly - and uncontrollably - falling in love with Ernest Hemingway, a man already on his way to being a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Hemingway made their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite.
But when Hemingway publishes the biggest literary success of his career, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the suffocating demands of a domestic lifestyle, or risk losing her husband by forging her way as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.
Based on a true story
Martha Gellhorn was one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century
FOR WHOM THE BELLS TOLLS was dedicated to Martha, and inspired by the time they were together in Spain. It was Hemingway's most successful book to date, it sold half a million copies within months, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and triumphantly reestablished his literary reputation