A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition

A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition


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The definitive edition of the classic novel of love during wartime, featuring all of the alternate endings: “Fascinating…serves as an artifact of a bygone craft, with handwritten notes and long passages crossed out, giving readers a sense of an author’s process” (The New York Times).

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476764528
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 07/08/2014
Series: Hemingway Library Edition Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 14,540
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ernest Hemingway did more to change 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 Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that led to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. 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

Read an Excerpt

Adios a Las Armas (Spanish Edition)

  • A finales de verano de ese año vivíamos en una casa de un pueblo que daba a las montañas al otro lado del río y la llanura. En el lecho del río había guijarros y cantos rodados resecos y blanqueados por el sol, y el agua era cristalina y corría rápida y azul por el cauce. Las tropas pasaban por delante de la casa, se alejaban carretera abajo y el polvo que levantaban cubría las hojas de los árboles. Los troncos también estaban polvorientos, las hojas cayeron pronto ese año y vimos a las tropas pasar por la carretera, el polvo que levantaban y las hojas que caían agitadas por la brisa mientras los soldados desfilaban, y luego la carretera blanca y vacía a excepción de las hojas.

    El llano estaba preñado de cosechas; había muchas plantaciones de árboles frutales y por detrás se recortaban, pardas y desnudas, las montañas. Estaban combatiendo en ellas y por la noche veíamos los fogonazos de la artillería. En la oscuridad parecían los relámpagos de verano, aunque las noches eran frescas y no daba la sensación de que se acercase ninguna tormenta.

    A veces, de noche, oíamos desfilar a las tropas bajo la ventana y los cañones que pasaban tirados por los tractores. De noche había mucho tráfico y numerosas mulas en los caminos con cajas de municiones en las alforjas y camiones grises cargados de hombres, y otros camiones con la carga oculta tras una lona, que avanzaban despacio entre el tráfico. De día también pasaban grandes piezas de artillería tiradas por tractores, con los largos cañones cubiertos de tallos verdes y pámpanos y frondosas ramas sobre los tractores. Hacia el norte se divisaba un valle y un bosque de castaños y detrás otra montaña a ese lado del río. También se combatía por esa montaña, aunque sin éxito, y en otoño, cuando llegaron las lluvias, cayeron todas las hojas de los castaños y las ramas quedaron desnudas y los troncos ennegrecidos por la lluvia. Los viñedos estaban igual de desnudos y toda la región quedó húmeda, parda y muerta con el otoño. Había nieblas sobre el río y nubes en las montañas, los camiones salpicaban barro en la carretera y las tropas llevaban los uniformes fangosos y empapados. Los fusiles estaban mojados y las dos cartucheras grises que llevaban en el cinturón, unas cajas de cuero gris repletas de cargadores de finos y largos cartuchos de 6,5 milímetros, les abultaban los capotes como si los hombres que desfilaban por la carretera estuvieran embarazados de seis meses.

    Vehículos pequeños de color gris pasaban a toda velocidad, normalmente transportaban a un oficial sentado junto al chófer y a otros oficiales en el asiento trasero. Salpicaban aún más barro que los camiones y, si uno de los oficiales del asiento de atrás era muy bajito y estaba sentado entre dos generales, y era tan pequeño que no se le veía la cara sino solo la gorra y la espalda, y si el coche iba particularmente deprisa era probable que fuese el rey. Vivía en Udine y recorría ese camino casi a diario para ver cómo iban las cosas. Y las cosas iban muy mal.

    Al empezar el invierno cayó una lluvia persistente y con la lluvia llegó el cólera. Pero lograron contenerlo y al final solo causó siete mil muertos en el ejército.

  • Reading Group Guide

    Reading Group Guide for A Farewell to Arms
    Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. After graduation from high school, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he worked briefly for the Kansas City Star. Failing to qualify for the United States Army because of poor eyesight, he enlisted with the American Red Cross to drive ambulances in Italy. He was severely wounded on the Austrian front on July 9, 1918. Following recuperation in a Milan hospital, he returned home and became a freelance writer for the Toronto Star.
    In December of 1921, he sailed to France and joined an expatriate community of writers and artists in Paris while continuing to write for the Toronto Star. There his fiction career began in "little magazines" and small presses and led to a volume of short stories, In Our Time (1925). His novels The Sun Also Rises (1926) and A Farewell to Arms (1929) established Hemingway as the most important and influential fiction writer of his generation. His later collections of short stories and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) affirmed his extraordinary career while his highly publicized life gave him unrivaled celebrity as a literary figure.
    Hemingway became an authority on the subjects of his art: trout fishing, bullfighting, big-game hunting, and deep-sea fishing, and the cultures of the regions in which he set his work — France, Italy, Spain, Cuba, and Africa.
    The Old Man and the Sea (1952) earned him the Pulitzer Prize and was instrumental in his being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954. Hemingway died in Ketchum, Idaho, on July 2, 1961.
    Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American assigned to a Red Cross ambulance unit in Italy, is severely wounded on the Austrian front and sent to a hospital in Milan, where he falls in love with his English nurse, Catherine Barkley. When he returns to the front, the war goes badly, and Frederic joins a retreat from Caporetto in which he barely escapes execution at the hands of Italian battle police. He deserts the army, returns to Milan, goes on to Stresa, joins now-pregnant Catherine Barkley, and avoids capture by rowing across the lake to Switzerland, where they live an idyllic life until Catherine delivers a still-born child and dies, and Frederic walks back to his hotel in the rain, alone.
    Discussion Questions
    1. How does the first chapter of A Farewell to Arms set a tone and mood which anticipate subsequent events? Why does the narrator move the reader through a change of seasons from late summer to autumn and on to winter? What are the major images in the chapter, and what is the effect of the understatement in the final sentence (p. 4)?
    2. During Lt. Frederic Henry's early visits with Catherine Barkley, Catherine says as they touch each other and speak of love, "This is a rotten game we play, isn't it"? (p. 31). How should one characterize Frederic's early "love" for Catherine? What does the initial stage of their relationship reveal about the effect of the war upon their lives?
    3. What perspective regarding love does the priest from Abruzzi provide, and why do officers bait him during meals? Frederic says the priest "had always known what I did not know and what, when I learned it, I was always able to forget. But I did not know that then, although I learned it later" (p. 14). Is Frederic's observation borne out in the novel?
    4. Why are the Italian soldiers disillusioned with the war? How is Frederic's leap into the river to escape the battle police a symbolic demarcation in the novel? What extended meaning do we find in his statement, "It was not my show any more..."(p. 232)? Does Catherine represent for Frederic refuge, peace, and "home" in its fullest sense? How?
    5. Is A Farewell to Arms "a study in doom," as it has sometimes been called? How is Frederic's recollection of the ants on the burning log relevant to questions about God and faith raised in the novel? What do you believe Frederic has learned, or perhaps become resigned to, in this novel of love and war?

    After Reading the Novel
    The critic Allen Tate read A Farewell to Arms in Paris in 1929 and called it a masterpiece. Fewer than three months after its publication it had sold 45,000 copies and headed many bestseller lists. Many consider it Hemingway's best novel. You may wish to look at early sketches which inspired portions of A Farewell to Arms, especially the "Miniatures" which introduce Chapters 6 and 7 of In Our Time, or at short stories which evolved from Hemingway's World War I experiences such as "In Another Country" (1927), "Now I Lay Me" (1927), and "A Way You'll Never Be" (1933), all available in The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. Since the rise of feminist criticism, much has been written about Hemingway's female characters, especially Catherine Barkley, whom some reject as unflatteringly submissive. There is considerable division over this issue, and the subject is worthy of exploration. A 1957 Hollywood movie version of A Farewell to Arms stars Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones. A more recent film, loosely based upon Hemingway's war experiences in Italy, starring Chris O'Donnell and Sandra Bullock, is also available.

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    A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    When considering that this book is counted amoung the classics i would agree with its standards. There are countless motifs and events that speak of the human nature. It is somewhat surprising to me as to the fact that Hemingway wrote this book while he was mostly drunk and it also doesnt seem like man who was hugely suicidal could claim several works of literary merit to his name. However Hemingway seems to have an in depth perception of emotion and action upon emotion. Though the novels language is simple with mostly dialogue Hemingway does this to allow the reader free thought based upon what he reads. So though it might not seem like a very complicated book there is substance to it. You only have to look deeper beyond the words on the page and connect with the author and the charcters. That in itself is an adventure. So then for my personal opinion it was enertaining but the likablness of the theme varies for readers. Even though it might not be your theme like it wasnt mine it is still worthwhile to read. Written by LV
    BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Rayleigh More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    One of my English teachers many years ago told us that Hemingway was overated :::: After trying to re read some of his novels that I enjoyed at a younger age, I realize he was right*** However I do llike some of his Nick Adams stories
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    As an English teacher and a person who loves to read, I want to like Hemingway. I've read every single one of his short stories, The Old Man and the Sea and now 50 pages of AFTA. I've read every page of War and Peace, Les Miserables, Brothers Karamazov and a big stack of Dickens. All of these books had long boring tangents but it was worth it to get to the greater story. I never quit or skip pages but I'm quitting on this one after fifty pages. I'm sorry. Life is too short to read boring books. Aside from a few great short stories, life is too short to read Hemingway.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Good read. You can ignore the last pages its all the same repetitions...but good book and edition.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is agreat book and u cant get enogh of it.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    is this the 9th edition please?