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Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love and War 1930-1949
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Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love and War 1930-1949

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  25 reviews
(starred review) Somerville makes an impressive book debut with a life of novelist, journalist, and intrepid war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), told through a captivating selection of her letters to friends, family, husbands, and lovers. The volume is enriched by Somerville's biographical narrative and her decision to include responses of many recipients and, i ...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published September 27th 2019 by Firefly Books
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Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Letters go beyond biography, even autography, for they peer into the heart and soul of a person, exposing fears, feelings, falsehoods and frailties without censor or editor. This compilation of Martha Gellhorn’s letters during the formative years (1930- 1949) of her long journalistic career is an excellent glimpse into the intimate corners of a complex woman, a woman from—and connected to—privilege, who risked her life to display the world’s warts and fight for the underdog.

Starting from her doo
If it hadn't been for the 'rona, I probably would never have finished this book. I borrowed it from the library and then they went into 'rona shutdown, so I had it for months. I needed every day of it. To be honest, I knew nothing about Gellhorn except that she was married to Hemingway, and this connection was my motivation behind signing out the book.

As one might deduce from the title, Ms Somerville has gleaned sufficient information from Gellhorn's correspondence to write a book. I don't know
Literary Redhead
Martha Gellhorn is most famously known as Hemingway’s third wife. But she was a pioneer war correspondent — the only woman to land at Normandy on D-Day and among the first to report from Dachau after its liberation by US troops.

Yours, for Probably Always, is a superb collection of her letters, with insightful background by author Janet Somerville.

Gellhorn corresponded with the best and brightest of the day, including close friend Eleanor Roosevelt, with a huge number of their letters included.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of Martha Gellhorn’s correspondence, interspersed with biographical detail for context.

For the most part, this is a worthy selection of correspondence that provides greater insight into Gellhorn’s life as seen through her own eyes and those of her correspondents.

This is a denser read than most compilations of personal letters, and that’s a good thing. This is partially due to the substance, tone, and beautiful writing that mark out Gellhorn’s missives as different fro
Bob H
This is a candid, vibrant encounter with a warm, intelligent and remarkable personality. This is Martha Gellhorn, through her correspondence with her friends and lovers but speaking to us now, as she lives through some of the most turbulent times and scenes of the mid-20th Century. A pioneer in many ways, she reported on, wrote about, lived through the Depression, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War and continued reporting through the Vietnam era, although this book mainly spans the 1930 ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Somerville has selected letters from the journalist Martha Gellhorn's correspondence from the 1930s and 40s to present a compelling story of one of the 20th century's important war and travel writers, who was also an underestimated fiction writer, and a trailblazer who had a privileged and politically connected upbringing, a contrarian's heart and soul, and an abiding commitment to life's underdogs. She was decidedly anti-fascist and loathed those who compromised or took a stance of malign neutr ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio
I love this book. With that said, I doubt everyone will love this book, so let me tell you about it.

Martha Gellhorn was a noted war journalist and writer who wrote about the Spanish Civil War, the invasion of Prague, and many campaigns during WWII. She continued reporting on wars zone up the Vietnam era. She was a passionate person who could not bear injustice, and hence was constantly emotionally wrecked by each new atrocity. She is also a marvellously descriptive writer, both of emotion and ex
Kat Ayres
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To be honest, when I requested this book, I knew little to nothing about Martha Gellhorn. What I found was a total badass. She was such a fantastic representative of early-ish feminine independence and strength. She paved a way for modern feminists to really live boldly. I was really inspired reading her correspondence and learning about her life, and I can’t wait to live my life a little more boldly. I’d like to think if we had been born in the same time and ran in the same circles, we would ha ...more
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Shepherd
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
Martha Gellhorn was a strong-willed, self-made, modern woman whose pioneering journalism paved the way for women who came after her. An ardent anti-fascist, she abhorred “objectivity shit” and wrote about real people doing real things with intelligence and passion. Her life, reportage, fiction and correspondence all reveal her passionate advocacy of social justice and her need to tell the stories of “the people who were the sufferers of history.” Gellhorn is most famous, to her enduring exaspera ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
If there are only two things I have in common with Ernest Hemingway, it's that I hate Ernest Hemingway, and I love Martha Gellhorn. It's really a shame that so many people only know her as Hemingway's wife, because that's a massive disservice to Martha Gellhorn the writer, Martha Gellhorn the traveller, Martha Gellhorn the journalist and war correspondent.

What a seriously cool lady, you guys.

I appreciated the contextual bits amongst the letters. As with any collection of letters, there are gap
Janis Mckay
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, history
A much needed corrective to the numerous Hemingway books and their very snarky and biased presentation of the incredible reporter Martha Gellhorn. When you can see both her letters and the letters from others, in their entirety, it becomes clear that some Hemingway scholars have been interpreting these to suit their theories. Hemingway himself wrote numerous untruths about Gellhorn, as he did with so many other people who were his friends and lovers. Gellhorn was flawed, but no more flawed than ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured every page. If you didn’t love Martha Gellhorn before, you will after reading this book.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
Thank you to Firefly Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Martha Gellhorn is a fascinating figure, and this compilation of her correspondence gives us a bit of insight into her personal life. What she is most famous for, i.e. being Ernest Hemingway's third wife, and being one of the first female war correspondents, doesn't merit much attention here. Instead, there is quite a lot of material on her relationship to her parents, and to Eleanor Roosevelt. However, much of
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Martha Gellhorn lead an amazing life travelling the world as a war correspondent, journalist and author. This book chronicles her life through the letters she wrote and many that she received. Sommerville uses just the right amount of narration between the letters to keep the book on track and to set the scene. I found this to be a long book, but worth it. Through her letters, you can see Gellhorn’s passion for travel, people and writing about the important events of the day. Yes, she was Heming ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: collectible, signed
Fascinating to read the correspondence of an extraordinary woman during extraordinary times. Somerville does a great job summarizing the essential events in Gellhorn’s life as well as curating the letters so that you finish the book with a real sense of Gellhorn and her era. I also appreciated that Somerville included one of Gellhorn’s short stories. It really provided me with a sense of Gellhorn’s literary style and talent. Finally, Firefly did a wonderful job of producing the book. Its beauty ...more
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, Janet Somerville's study of Martha Gellhorn's life and loves is a truly engaging read. Through Martha's letters to luminous historical figures, including husband and writer Ernest Hemingway, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Gellhorn's life and travels as a journalist and war correspondent are revealed to us along with her fierce intelligence, courage, wit, and forthright political beliefs. A woman outstanding in her time, in Somerville's able hands ...more
Lynda Lippin
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Journalist Martha Gellhorn tried to control her entire life, even when she couldn't. She was married to Ernest Hemingway, embedded with troops in WWII, and visited Dachau right after the liberation. These years of correspondence are not all so interesting, but in total tell a great story of a fascinating woman. ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I confess I found the first third this a bit of a slog. It picks up around wartime when she's writing less about herself and more about the world. Note she casually drops racist terms midway through that made me cringe. Janet Somerville's narrative contextualizes the letters well. And although Martha Gellhorn led an interesting life, I found her hard to like. ...more
Apr 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book as part of a GoodReads giveaway! I was really excited to learn more about Martha Gellhorn, as I think that she is an extremely interesting woman. Unfortunately, try as I might I just could not enjoy the book. I've read other books in similar formats, so I am not sure why I could not get into it, but overall I just found it too much of a slog.
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully and insightfully written biography of one of the most interesting journalists of the twentieth century.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't read all nor even most of the letters. Just the parts that told Gellhorn's biography. She had an interesting life. ...more
Doris Raines
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
A collection of letters - it feels odd to read someones personal letters yet also familiar. It makes me want to write more letters.
The thoughts on the war and on life and love I enjoyed.
Jean Heys
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating window with meticulous detail into the life of Martha Gellhorn and her contemporaries. A book to savour and return to again and again.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2020
Melissa Brown
rated it it was amazing
Oct 20, 2020
Marc Van den Berg
rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2020
Melanie Lunzer
rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2019
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