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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Touring Ernest Hemingway's House in Key West

Eric & me in front of
author Ernest 
Hemingway's House

This historic home, built in 1851 by Asa Tift, marine architect and salvage wrecker, is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Tyler is an enthusiastic
tour guide.

Ernest Hemingway & his
second wife, Pauline, moved
into this house in 1931,
when he was 33. 

Eric takes in the details

of Ernest Hemingway's

This collection of photos is
referred to as Hemingway's
"Wall of Wives."

He was married four times to: Elizabeth Hadley, known as Hadley Richardson, 1921 - 1927; Pauline Pfeiffer, 1927 - 1940; Martha Gelhorn, 1940 - 1945; and Mary Welsh, 1946 - Ernest's death in 1961.

Ernest Hemingway lived life hard and his marriages were tumultuous.  Depression was at the root of many of his life choices.

This Tantalus, locked bottle
 of alcohol, is very old.

Mary joked that she kept the
 key to Ernest's liquor.
Taking a few steps back in Hemingway's life...  He and Hadley moved to Paris in 1921.  They spent time with other ex-pats, including Gertrude Stein, at her salon.  It is said that Stein was a major influence on Ernest's writing, extolling him to abstain from drinking while writing. Hemingway's response was that it's fine to write drunk, but edit sober.

"The Lost Generation" was a
group of Americans living in
Paris in the 1920s.

Many expressed in their writings disillusionment following World War I.  For Ernest, Paris was a fertile environment.  Books written in Paris include: In Our Time: A Collection of Stories, The Sun Also Rises, Men Without Women, A Farewell to Arms.

Photos of Hemingway
 throughout the years

The gash on his head in
the top photo is from
a bizarre accident in
Paris in 1928.

Hemingway thought he was pulling the flush chain on a toilet and it wasn't working.  He pulled harder and even harder, bringing down a skylight on his head.  Tyler told us that Hemingway suffered nine concussions throughout his life.

Hemingway enjoyed the
outdoor life.
An avid sportsman, Ernest was a bare-knuckle boxer.  For many years he fought, not well, but he fought.

Ernest & the "Big One"

He, in his boat, The Pilar,
spent many hours off
Bimini, in the Bahamas.

I think of The Old Man and the Sea as I look at this photo.

Cats, 53 of them, inhabit the house and grounds.  They are descendants of the cats Hemingway loved. Many of the cats have six toes on their front feet.

This feline grooms herself
on Hemingway's bed.

Eric took this picture
of her posing.

The low chairs aren't footstools
with handles....  

Tyler introduces us to

I can't remember their names.

Peeking out at visitors...

Ernest Hemingway was an animal lover who helped feed his neighbors' pets, when they were strapped for cash.  

Pauline had the swimming
pool built, at the astronomical
cost of $20,000.

A private swimming pool was a tremendous luxury in Key West in the 1930s.

The rectangular base of
this fountain is a urinal
Ernest brought hoome

Pauline had tile put across the front of it to help disguise its original purpose.

Visitors go up the stairs to
Hemingway's writing

We are being watched.

A comfortable, light-filled
place to write

Many of Hemingway's works were made into movies including, but not limited to: A Farewell To Arms, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Old Man and the Sea and To Have and Have Not.

Just napping...
As Ernest Hemingway grew older, old injuries caused him pain and slowed him down.  Hemingway was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure and Liver Disease.  His struggles with depression grew. He committed suicide in Ketchum, Idaho on July 2, 1961.  Mary steadfastly claimed that Ernest died while cleaning his gun.  She couldn't hide the truth.

Sis members of the Hemingway family have committed suicide across four generations: Dr. Clarence Hemingway, Ernest's father; Ernest Hemingway, Ursula and Leicester, Ernest's siblings; Gregory Hemingway, Ernest's youngest son; and Margaux Hemingway, Ernest's granddaughter.

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