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Yours, for Probably Always:

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Member Reviews

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 have been friends.
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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 gaps and sensical transitions can be tricky, so I appreciated the context. As others have mentioned it can get dense at times, but I don't want the density to deter people. This is still absolutely worth picking up. Take it slow, savor it, because if you try and read it all at once there's a good chance of overwhelming yourself. There's a lot of familial back and forth to wade through to get to the more substantial parts of her letters, but the writing is so compelling and wonderful to read, and is very worth savoring. Granted, she had a lot of interesting friends, which make for very captivating conversations and letters.

This is a must-have for Gellhorn enthusiasts, or people who enjoy well-written correspondence between relentlessly interesting people.

Thank you muchly to NetGalley, Firefly Books, and Janet Somerville for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I did expect to find more letters included in this book, or at least some sort of detailed explanation of what happened to some of these letters. For example, where are the letters Martha Gellhorn sent to James Gavin? Still, this was a great read and I highly recommend it.
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Martha Gellhorn was much more than Ernest Hemingway’s third wife, she was a gutsy correspondent who covered several wars and let little get in her way.
These letters and the biographical content in the book gives a deeper insight into a well-lived life, how she related to her female friends, her family and the men that she loved. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and discovering more about this brave and determined woman.
This is a book that not only Martha Gellhorn’s fans will enjoy, but also others who haven’t yet discovered her.
Thanks to Firefly Books and NetGalley for an ARC copy in return for an honest review.
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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 this does not really seem germane to the person of Martha Gellhorn and what shaped her as a writer, but is included simply because it is available. 

I must confess that I did find parts of this book hard going, as I had to wade through a lot of familial and friend's affection and support, to get to the meat of Martha Gellhorn as a writer. The author made up for some of this with biographical information interspersed with the letters throughout the text.
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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 June 6, 1944, and among the first to report from Dachau after its liberation by US troops in April 1945.

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. 

We learn a great deal about Gellhorn, her work with Harry Hopkins and America’s Federal Emergency Relief Administration in the 1930s, reportage during the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Vietnam War, as well as her relationships with Hemingway and lover General James M. Gavin, the youngest major general to helm an American division during World War II. 

Highly recommended for the legion of Gellhorn fans, journalism junkies, and war history buffs. 

Pub date: Oct. 1, 2019

Thanks to Janet Somerville, Firefly Books Ltd., and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. 

#YoursForProbablyAlways #NetGalley
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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 from much of the frippery we usually see in collected letters. The fact that she had so many pen pals who were themselves impressive personages and compelling writers didn’t hurt either. 

As is often the case with correspondence collections, the volume of writing included between select parties is largely determined by what was available to the compiler. This sometimes (and is the case here) provides quantities of letters with certain correspondents that don’t seem to have the quality required to justify that. 

In this book, there is a huge number of exchanges between Gellhorn and Eleanor Roosevelt. While Roosevelt is of course a fascinating woman in her own right and certainly there is good information to be gleaned from letters between the two, their exchanges are mostly personal fondness and were clearly included in the book in such large volume because said large volume was readily available, rather than because they really needed to be there. 

Conversely, while many of Martha’s letters to Hemingway appear in the book, there is but one letter from Hemingway to Gellhorn included. This is likely because of three things: Gellhorn returning much of Hemingway’s half of their correspondence to him upon their divorce in 1945, the fact that many of their letters were likely heavily censored because they were written during the war, and that Gellhorn zealously destroyed much of the correspondence between she and Hemingway shortly before her death. 

None of this is the fault of the author of this book, who did well with what she had to work with. Still, it’s a good lesson in why compilations of correspondence often don’t truly give the full picture of the subject’s life. In this case, the author did an admirable job of making up the difference with the biographical information interspersed with the letters throughout the text.
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