Pauline and Ernest

Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, met Pauline Pfeiffer in 1925 at a party in Paris. Pauline was working for Vogue magazine as a writer and assistant editor. Ernest was living and working in the community of expatriate American artists and writers, which included Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Ezra Pound, and others. Hadley and Pauline became friends, and Pauline began to spend more and more time with the Hemingways, including using her editing skills to critique Ernest’s writing.

Pauline joined the Hemingways for a skiing trip to Schruns, Austria over Christmas 1925. During this trip, Pauline and Ernest began a complicated affair, which ultimately resulted in Ernest’s leaving Hadley and marrying Pauline. The two were married in Paris on May 10, 1927.

After several years of visiting Key West, Florida, Pauline and Ernest acquired a home there. The house was a gift from Pauline’s uncle, Gus Pfeiffer, who remained a financial benefactor throughout their marriage. Along with paying for their house, their apartment in Paris, their first and second cars, and other support, Gus provided $25,000 in 1933 for the Hemingways’ African safari, which resulted in much of Ernest’s literary material.

During the Hemingways’ 13-year marriage, they made frequent trips to Piggott, Arkansas, as well as treks back and forth to Europe and across the country. The marriage produced two sons–Patrick born in 1928, and Gregory born in 1931. Hemingway also published eight books and numerous short stories during this time.

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Additional background on Pauline Pfeiffer and Ernest Hemingway can be found by selecting their names.