I must begin by declaring a proprietorial interest in the subject of this book, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. My daughter is named after her. In that anticipatory period where the name takes on an exaggerated, talismanic importance, ‘Hadley’ seemed redolent of those early Hemingway heroines, beautiful, strong, poised. At the same time it had always seemed curiously at odds with its original possessor, who had featured in earlier Hemingway biographies as a dumpy hausfrau, eight years older than the dashing young genius. The marriage lasted less than six years and for the rest of his life Hemingway was associated with some of the most glamorous women of his time.
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'Too many historians sneer at our forbears; scolding them if they follow the customs of their own day ... tut-tutting if the poor things are detected having a little fun.'
From the archive, Mary Clive on medieval travellers.
'Reading Taylor’s book has also made me join a book club. I did not like the January book; I did enjoy drinking gin while saying why.'
@clamorousvoice explores the history of women readers.
'When the language starts functioning as a character in fiction, when it is there drawing attention to itself ... It’s not anything that anybody really takes seriously.'
Our interview with Anthony Burgess from 1983.