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We are so excited for Paula McLain’s extraordinary new novel Love and Ruin, a tale of the real-life relationship between two unstoppable writers, but we couldn’t wait to share these tidbits about Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway with you!

1. It all began at Christmas...
… when the pair met in 1936 in Florida. A short time later they travelled to Spain together, where Martha (a journalist and war correspondent) was reporting on the Spanish Civil War.

Martha Gellhorn & Ernest Hemingway(source: AFR)

2. Martha and Ernest were married for five years...
 ... but their on-again-off-again affair began four years prior while Ernest was still married to his second wife.
(source: Daily Mail)

3. Hemingway dedicated his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls to Martha...
… but by then he had already dedicated previous novels to previous wives, so this was a pattern.
For Whom the Bell Tolls(source:

4. Martha's long absences on assignment famously irritated Hemingway...
… but she was dedicated to her life as a reporter, and continued to be until she retired from journalism in the early 90s – when she was almost 80 years old.
Martha Gellhorn Journalist(source: filio.nzz)

5. Both Ernest and Martha went on to marry again after their divorce in 1945.
Ernest was married to his fourth wife at the time of his death, and Martha moved to London to be with her second husband, where she would live the rest of her life.
Ernest Hemingway GIF(source: giphy)

6. Both authors died of suicide.
Hemingway shot himself in 1961, 15 years after his divorce from Gellhorn, with Martha reportedly swallowing a cyanide pill after a long battle against cancer in 1998.
Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn(source:

7. Did you know HBO produced a film about their affair?
Released in 2012, it starred Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen. Martha was also a subject of the 2011 documentary No Job for a Woman: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII.
Hemingway and Gellhorn Movie Poster(source:


  • Love and Ruin - Paula McLain

    Paula McLain's new novel, LOVE & RUIN, recounts Martha Gellhorn's stormy marriage to Ernest Hemingway, and her painful decision to step out of his shadow and forge her own brilliant career as a war correspondent. 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

Stacey Clair

Stacey Clair

As the Publishing Assistant for the Australian Publishing team, most of my brainspace and TBR pile is full-to-the-brim with titles from Hachette’s local list. Since home is Maroons territory, you’ll find me shouting about Queensland authors with a smidge of extra pride at @staceyclairrr, but I’m also prone to blithering about films, feminism, and other f-words too. Get on my good side with a Star Wars or Seinfeld reference, a jar of peanut butter or a great/terrible joke.

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