Play Ernest Hemingway and Mary Welsh Survive Two Plane Crashes

In the summer of 1953, Ernest and Mary were involved in two plane crashes in two days while in Africa. Following the first accident, word had spread that the writer died, many publications prematurely publishing his obituary before the couple finally arrived at their destination of Entebbe. Though both were injured, Hemingway suffered yet another traumatic brain injury with a fractured skull.

Play Hemingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea'

Writers and literary scholars share their thoughts on Ernest Hemingway's book "The Old Man and the Sea." The novel, which was first appeared in "Life" magazine, would remain on the best-seller list for 26 weeks following its publishing, and is still praised by many today.

Play The Beginnings of Ernest Hemingway's Marriage to Mary Welsh

In 1944, Ernest Hemingway met Time and Life correspondent Mary Welsh while in London to cover the Allied invasion of France for Collier's. Mary would eventually move to Cuba to be with him, living in the Finca, which he had once shared with previous wife Martha Gellhorn prior to their separation during the war. The pair wed in 1946, but their marriage would be turbulent in the years following.

Play Sen. John McCain on His Hero from 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'

Published in the fall of 1940 at the end of the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" follows character Robert Jordan, a young American college instructor, in his fight against fascism. Senator John McCain discusses the profound impact the novel and its hero had on him.

Play The End of Ernest and Pauline Hemingway's Marriage

After Ernest Hemingway's relationship with Martha Gellhorn came to light and the two began to openly live together in Cuba, Pauline Hemingway did what she could to try to save her 13-year marriage with her husband. Yet despite her reluctance to grant him a divorce, on September 3, 1939, Hemingway told Pauline he was leaving her.

Play Hemingway's Home in Cuba, the Finca Vigía

In the spring of 1939, Ernest Hemingway returned to Havana, Cuba where Martha Gellhorn would later join him. Martha rented the Finca Vigía, a 10-acre property outside the city where they could live together, which Hemingway would eventually buy and would become his home for the next two decades.

Play Hemingway's Front Seat to the Spanish Civil War

Ernest Hemingway returned to Spain to cover the civil war for the North American Newspaper Alliance, reporting alongside Collier's writer Martha Gellhorn. Beginning a three-year affair, the two stayed at the Hotel Florida, where other correspondents also resided to witness the events, despite its close proximity to a Loyalist communications center, making it an unintended target of enemy shells.

Play Hemingway's Call to Action During the Spanish Civil War

As another war in Europe loomed with Adolf Hitler's rise and the spread of fascism, Hemingway told readers of "Esquire" that America shouldn't get involved. Yet when Spain found itself in the midst of civil war and fascist Francisco Franco, with the aid of Hitler and Benito Mussolini, worked to overthrow the socialist government, the author felt called to return to the country he loved.

Play After Deadly Hurricane, Hemingway Asks: Who Killed the Vets?

In 1935, a hurricane hit Florida killing more than 400 people, including 259 homeless veterans of WWI. Hemingway, whose peers denounced him during the Great Depression for his refusal to declare solidarity with the working class, admonished the Roosevelt administration in "New Masses" magazine for its role in sending veterans south to build highway bridges to bring visitors to the Florida Keys.

Play Mastering the Art of Nonfiction

Referring to himself as "Papa," Ernest Hemingway strived to be an expert on everything. This desire to be knowledgeable on all subjects was often reflected in his writing, especially as he sought to master nonfiction and hoped to pass forward his learnings to others. Studying Hemingway as a young writer, novelist Ralph Ellison once learned how to lead a bird from a hunting description in his work.

Play When Hemingway 'Lost Everything'

Based out of Paris as a correspondent for The Toronto Star, Hemingway often traveled across Europe for assignments. While in Switzerland covering the Greco-Turkish War, he met Lincoln Steffens, who expressed interest in reading more of the young writer's work. This interaction and events following would lead to the loss of two years of work that greatly impacted his relationship with Hadley.

Play How Hemingway's Childhood Sparked a Love of Nature, Writing

Often fishing and hunting with his father as a young boy, Ernest Hemingway fostered a love for the great outdoors and hoped to become a naturalist like his hero Theodore Roosevelt. As a teenager, he was a passionate reader and took up writing at his school's literary magazine. His mother encouraged him to practice his art, helping form the strict writers' discipline he maintained into adulthood.

Play Hemingway's WWI Service

During WWI, Ernest Hemingway joined the Red Cross Ambulance Service where he was sent to Italy, helping to gather the dead and tend to wounded soldiers. On July 8, 1918, while volunteering to pass out chocolate bars to men at a forward listening post, he was caught in the blast of an enemy mortar shell, injured by over 220 pieces of shrapnel, and was subsequently shot by an enemy machine gunner.

Play The Inspiration Behind 'The Sun Also Rises'

In 1925, Ernest and Hadley Hemingway traveled to Pamplona for the annual running of the bulls. While following the bullfights across Spain, Hemingway would write "The Sun Also Rises," told from the perspective of character Jake Barnes, a war veteran, and inspired by events that transpired during their time in Pamplona with friends.

Play Official Trailer

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick explore the life and work of the legendary writer and his enduring influence on literature and culture.

Play Trailer #2: A Portrait

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick explore the life and work of the legendary writer and his enduring influence on literature and culture.

Play Behind the Scenes | Making Hemingway

Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein give us a behind-the-scenes look at the production of Hemingway. We explore where Ernest Hemingway lived and traveled as the team visits his home in Cuba, learn about his writing process through manuscripts housed at the JFK Library, and the impact of fame on his art.

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