Yours, for Probably Always:
Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love and War, 1930-1949
by Janet Somerville
Pub Date 1 Oct 2019
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 exasperation, as Ernest Hemingway’s third wife. Long after their divorce, her short tenure as “Mrs. Hemingway” (1940-1945) invariably eclipsed her writing and, consequently, she never received her full due.
Yours, for Probably Always is a curated collection of letters between Gellhorn and the extraordinary personalities that were her correspondents in the most interesting time of her life. Her work and personal life attracted a disparate cadre of political and celebrity friends, among them, Ingrid Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Norman Bethune, Robert Capa, Charlie Chaplin, Sylvia Beach, Colette, Gary Cooper, Maxwell Perkins, Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Orson Welles, H.G Wells: the people who made history in their time and beyond. Through her letters, and with Janet Somerville’s contextual narrative, the book covers Gellhorn’s life and work, including reporting for Harry Hopkins and America’s Federal Emergency Relief Administration in the 1930s, newspaper and magazine reportage during the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the Vietnam War, plus her time with Hemingway and General James M. Gavin late in the war.