Happiness and Final Sorrow
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Marriage
Ruth A. Hawkins
only biography of Ernest Hemingway’s second marriage
significant contribution to setting the record straight"
Weekly, April 2012
major scholarly accomplishment—authoritative, thoroughly
researched, pioneering, and ably written…. a must for
Hemingway scholars, teachers, and aficionados."
—Anne Marie Candido in Arkansas Historical Quarterly
in Hemingway's life between 1927 and 1940 should consult this
—The Hemingway Review, Fall 2012
was a private person and the only one of Hemingway's four
wives to precede him in death, Ernest's self-serving account
of their relationship and of the Pfeiffer family's influence
on him has unfortunately been the primary source for Hemingway
scholars. Hawkins's book is a welcome corrective."
—Norman E. Stafford in Arkansas Review, 2012
one in America knows more about the Pfeiffer family and the
crucial Hemingway-Pfeiffer marriage than Ruth A. Hawkins.
The book she offers represents years of close scholarship
and is told with respect, literary grace, and blunt honesty.
In many ways, this is a revisionist work on the Hemingway
myth. I found myself learning something new on almost every
—Paul Hendrickson, author of Hemingway’s Boat
riveting portrait of a marriage, and a fascinating biography
of Pauline Pfeiffer, the most intriguing—and most misunderstood—of
the Hemingway wives. This compelling story about the Hemingway/Pfeiffer
relationship significantly enriches our understanding of this
complicated man, and, along the way, introduces us to a new
heroine in the Hemingway saga.”
—Mary Dearborn, author of Mailer: A Biography
Hawkins has written a marvelous book and a major account of
the most productive period of Hemingway’s life. Hawkins
weaves Ernest’s marriage to Pauline into an absorbing
story that breaks new ground and reveals the importance of
Hemingway’s relationship to the entire Pfeiffer family.
This book has clearly earned a place on the shelf with the
other major Hemingway biographies.”
—Carl Eby, author of Hemingway’s Fetishism
other wives spoke, but Pauline didn’t, making her the
least understood of the four women. She never stopped loving
Ernest, and the reverse is also true. Hawkins’s book,
particularly the closing, tells Pauline’s story—and
—John Fenstermaker, Hemingway scholar
the glittering intellectual world of 1920s Paris expatriates
in which Pauline Pfeiffer, a writer for Vogue, met
Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley among a circle of friends
that included Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos
Passos, and Dorothy Parker. Pauline grew close to Hadley but
eventually forged a stronger bond with Hemingway himself;
with her stylish looks and dedication to Hemingway’s
writing, Pauline became the source of “unbelievable
happiness” for Hemingway and, by 1927, his second wife.
Pauline was her
husband’s best editor and critic, and her wealthy family
provided moral and financial support, including the conversion
of an old barn to a dedicated writing studio at the family
home in Piggott, Arkansas. The marriage lasted thirteen years,
some of Hemingway’s most productive, and the couple
had two children. But the “unbelievable happiness”
met with “final sorrow,” as Hemingway wrote, and
Pauline would be the second of Hemingway’s four wives.
Happiness and Final Sorrow paints a full picture of Pauline
and the role she played in Ernest Hemingway’s becoming
one of our greatest literary figures.
has been an administrator at Arkansas State University in
Jonesboro for more than thirty years and established its Arkansas
Heritage Sites program, which includes the Hemingway-Pfeiffer
Museum in Piggott. She has been recognized at the state, regional,
and national level for her work in historic preservation and
6 x 9, 391 pages
49 images, index