A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Editionby Ernest Hemingway, Patrick Hemingway, Sean Hemingway
Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield—weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.
Ernest Hemingway famously said that he rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times to get the words right. This edition collects all of the alternative endings together for the first time, along with early drafts of other essential passages, offering new insight into Hemingway’s craft and creative process and the evolution of one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. Featuring Hemingway’s own 1948 introduction to an illustrated reissue of the novel, a personal foreword by the author’s son Patrick Hemingway, and a new introduction by the author’s grandson Seán Hemingway, this edition of A Farewell to Arms is truly a celebration.
Read an Excerpt
In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels. Troops went by the house and down the road and the dust they raised powdered the leaves of the trees. The trunks of the trees too were dusty and the leaves fell early that year and we saw the troops marching along the road and the dust rising and leaves, stirred by the breeze, falling and the soldiers marching and afterward the road bare and white except for the leaves.
The plain was rich with crops; there were many orchards of fruit trees and beyond the plain the mountains were brown and bare. There was fighting in the mountains and at night we could see the flashes from the artillery. In the dark it was like summer lightning, but the nights were cool and there was not the feeling of a storm coming.
Sometimes in the dark we heard the troops marching under the window and guns going past pulled by motor-tractors. There was much traffic at night and many mules on the roads with boxes of ammunition on each side of their pack-saddles and gray motor trucks that carried men, and other trucks with loads covered with canvas that moved slower in the traffic. There were big guns too that passed in the day drawn by tractors, the long barrels of the guns covered with green branches and green leafy branches and vines laid over the tractors. To the north we could look across a valley and see a forest of chestnut trees and behind it another mountain on this side of the river. There was fighting for that mountain too, but it was not successful, and in the fall when the rains came the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare and the trunks black with rain. The vineyards were thin and bare-branched too and all the country wet and brown and dead with the autumn. There were mists over the river and clouds on the mountain and the trucks splashed mud on the road and the troops were muddy and wet in their capes; their rifles were wet and under their capes the two leather cartridge-boxes on the front of the belts, gray leather boxes heavy with the packs of clips of thin, long 6.5 mm. cartridges, bulged forward under the capes so that the men, passing on the road, marched as though they were six months gone with child.
There were small gray motor cars that passed going very fast; usually there was an officer on the seat with the driver and more officers in the back seat. They splashed more mud than the camions even and if one of the officers in the back was very small and sitting between two generals, he himself so small that you could not see his face but only the top of his cap and his narrow back, and if the car went especially fast it was probably the King. He lived in Udine and came out in this way nearly every day to see how things were going, and things went very badly.
At the start of the winter came the permanent rain and with the rain came the cholera. But it was checked and in the end only seven thousand died of it in the army.
Copyright © 1929 by Charles Scribner's Sons
Copyright renewed 1957 © by Ernest Hemmingway
Meet the Author
Ernest Hemingway did more to influence the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established him as one of the greatest literary lights of the 20th century. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.
- Date of Birth:
- July 21, 1899
- Date of Death:
- July 2, 1961
- Place of Birth:
- Oak Park, Illinois
- Place of Death:
- Ketchum, Idaho
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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A Farewell to Arms is a classic in American Literature. I first read this novel when I was a junior in high school. I loved it then… Synopsis: Lieutenant Henry has enlisted the Italian Army in World War I. The United States was not involved yet. His job during this time is drive ambulances from the battlefield to the nearest hospital. At one of those hospitals is a nurse Catherine Barkley. Lt. Henry found himself injured and in the care of Ms. Barkley. How will the war affect them? Will they be able to stay together? My Thoughts: I listened to the story this time. The narration wasn’t bad. You can tell that this novel was written from the male perspective. I loved it the first time for the romantic relationship between Catherine and Lieutenant Henry. The story is timeless and can be appreciated. I just don’t know that I would appreciate it another time around. We honor Ernest Hemingway as a means of remembering early history of the United States. He wrote mainly during the World War I era to World War II. While his life ended tragically, hopefully his work will continue to live on.
A Farewell to Arms is a classic novel that many authors, readers, and literature-loving humans greatly enjoy, not only for the story contained in the pages, but also for Hemingway’s unique way of capturing the story. Most of Hemingway’s novels are well-known and again, most are quoted often. In this particular novel, our focus is on the Lt. and his love as they go through a brutal war in Italy. The graphics and dialogue as we read this book bring the war to life in ways that only Hemingway could do and keep us compelled to read more. As for the content, the language usage can be very vulgar at times and the romance is very sexual. There are no scenes in which the romance is shown clearly to the reader, however the conversations that the couple has can be decently descriptive. Overall, this book is one that possibly can only be enjoyed by fans of Hemingway’s style and I recommend it to be kept at an audience of Seniors in high school or college students. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
is this the 9th edition please?