Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love and War 1930-1949

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Product Details

$40.00  $37.20
Firefly Books
Publish Date
6.8 X 9.3 X 1.3 inches | 2.15 pounds

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About the Author

Janet Somerville taught literature for 20 years in Toronto. Since 2015, she has been wholly immersed in Martha Gellhorn's life and words, privileged to have ongoing access to Gellhorn's restricted papers in Boston, Massachusetts.


Martha Gellhorn was courageous and committed in love and in war. What a pleasure reading her correspondence and being reminded of how beautifully she wrote, filled with passion and insight.-- (01/01/2019)
Yours, for Probably Always is a rich resource about an extraordinary life well-lived. The literary stream-of-consciousness letters, uncensored and intimate, read like a novel. There are dramatic flashpoints, but also revelations of everyday existence that are equally absorbing. The book provides genuine insight about Martha Gellhorn and how real she was.-- (01/01/2019)
It was a huge job to pull this all together and make it read smoothly when you are covering so much territory and Janet Somerville did that with perfect aplomb. She chose wisely so you see Gellhorn's wit, her charisma, but also her hard work and dedication to mankind.-- (01/01/2019)
The remarkable Martha Gellhorn leaps from the pages of these vivid, witty, deeply human and humane letters. Through her loving curation and attention, Janet Somerville gives voice to a 20th century literary pioneer, too long in shadow.-- (01/01/2019)
Yours, For Probably Always is an essential book, a ticket into the past, a life spent wildly, often bravely, sometimes not so wisely... Janet Somerville has done a marvelous job with marvelous material. Bravo.-- (01/01/2019)
(starred review) Somerville makes an impressive book debut with a life of novelist, journalist, and intrepid war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), told through a captivating selection of her letters to friends, family, husbands, and lovers. The volume is enriched by Somerville's biographical narrative and her decision to include responses of many recipients and, in some cases, letters between individuals who were especially significant in Gellhorn's life... An engrossing collection that burnishes Gellhorn's reputation as an astute observer, insightful writer, and uniquely brave woman.-- (07/08/2019)
A fitting tribute to a remarkable life and career.--Publishers Weekly (06/21/2019)
As much as any woman in the twentieth century, Martha Gellhorn succeeded in her ambition to 'go everywhere and see everything and sometimes write about it.' It is wonderful to have this compendious new collection of letters from and to her, a few newly discovered. Janet Somerville has carefully set each group of correspondence in its historical context and further enriched them with photographs which even longtime Gellhorn admirers will not have seen.-- (01/01/2019)
A book I guarantee you is going to make waves.--Deborah Dundas"Toronto Star" (08/30/2019)
This carefully curated collection of letters between war correspondent, journalist and novelist Gellhorn and her friends, colleagues and lovers -- among them Dorothy Parker, Chiang Kai-shek and her husband, Ernest Hemingway -- reveals the exciting life of a brilliant woman whose work paved the way for many who followed behind her.-- (09/21/2019)
You don't need to be familiar with Gellhorn's other writing in order to enjoy her letters; this collection simply fuels the desire to seek out and read all of her work. Her correspondents and Somerville speak so movingly about Gellhorn's reporting that the reader aches to experience these pieces first-hand, and reading how Gellhorn herself describes her fiction-writing process prompts a yearning to track down the final product.... It is important that Gellhorn take her place as a trailblazing journalist and author who made the world better for having written about what she saw.-- (10/01/2019)
A must-read... Captures an extraordinary period in Gellhorn's life... Yours, for Probably Always offers love letters, family exchanges, reports on daily life and missives about politics and conflict. The book is history, geography, psychology and biography all at once... The book includes letters she exchanged with an amazing cast of characters, including H.G. Wells, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Ernest Hemingway -- a riveting fabric that author Somerville stitches together for the reader with a fine thread of biographical detail, bits of conversation, concurrent events and keen observation. Somerville is a magician here, somehow organizing and conveying a mountain of biographical information with brevity and great style.-- (11/02/2019)
This is history as it was lived, and shared in intimate and emotional detail, among Gellhorn's lovers, husband, family and friends who were among the most important doers and thinkers of the time. Curated with valuable context by Janet Somerville... It's her own love letter of sorts to a woman she calls "a wonder"... This new offering reminds us how we read history through two prisms: a recollection of the past and a reflection on our own time. So much has changed, and so much is much the same, since our last Martha moment, reason enough to savour a new account... Now we have more of her own words, and those who admired and embraced her, to reflect again on her world and ours.-- (12/01/2019)
Book of the Year... Gellhorn was a glamorous novelist, social-justice activist, and fearless war correspondent who covered almost every major conflict of the 20th century. Yet she is most often treated as a historical footnote because of her short-lived marriage to Ernest Hemingway. Thanks to Somerville's tireless efforts, Gellhorn may finally receive the attention she rightfully deserves.-- (12/01/2019)
One wonders what will happen when future generations want to understand current famous figures. Look at Twitter accounts? Scrape emails? Thankfully, journalist Martha Gellhorn -- married to Hemingway for a short time -- corresponded by letter with some of the most famous people of her time. This book compiles these missives, many newly discovered, creating a portrait of a modern woman and a chronicle of the 20th century.-- (11/29/2019)